Robinson: Thinking about Book Buddies

Ken Robinson makes the argument that our creative energies can be awakened and channeled at any time during our lives. We are never too old to get excited about doing stuff that is meaningful.

He gives a nice example of this working in an institutional framework called “Book Buddies”, a programme that was developed in Oklahoma. In the Book Buddy programme, a pre-school class where kids are learning how to read is located in the entrance space of a retirement home. The kids go about their business there and the residents see what is going on. A funny thing happens, a lot of residents ask if they can help. They get to be a “book buddy” where they meet with an individual kiddie and the two work together on reading.

What happened? The kids learn faster and more broadly. They are also exposed to something interesting about life – its natural rhythms. And the retirees? The excitement they feel from giving back helps them come alive – medication levels drops.

It’s a win win situation. And it is a lesson about how important it is to build learning communities across generations.

Next – but what about the money?  Can we just survive on love?


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