Grandparents’ Day: Ask Gran Not Google program

For nine-year-old Bryan Park, the chance to talk to older Australians is one he relishes.

When retired former students like Peter Roe visit Brisbane Boys’ College, Bryan and his classmates get a real-life history lesson.

And it’s given him an insight into what life was like for generations before him.

“They tell me how it was to live in the olden days,” Bryan said.

“They didn’t have any computers or TVs so they normally played outside with their friends.

“They walked to school all the time because there wasn’t any transport.”

Bryan is one of 22,000 young students across Australia who are taking part in a new federally funded program to encourage children to learn from their elders.

The program called “Ask Gran Not Google”, designed by aged care provider Feros Care, encourages children to put down their smartphones and seek wisdom from older people.

“This is a win-win innovation for young and old, focussing on the fun of generational sharing and the value of personal connections,” Minister for Senior Australians Ken Wyatt said.

“Ask Gran Not Google is a touching reminder to young people and the wider community that the internet is far from the only source of valuable information in today’s world.”

Some of the 150 schools in Queensland, Victoria and Tasmania that have signed up so far host meetings between children and elders while others communicate with residents in aged care facilities online.

Other schools encourage pupils to write postcards to seniors.

Mr Wyatt visited another program run with Beenleigh State High School, where students chatted with seniors in Canberra using a video link.

Bryan’s Year 3 teacher Kerry Hattwell said the program had benefits for old and young.

“I love it because it builds bonds between generations. It brings people together,” she said.

“To be able to connect with the past and know what life was like then is really important for children of this age”

And Bryan says he still has more to learn from senior Australians.

“In the future we will know more about the past,” he said.

Article by Steven Scott
The Sunday Mail (Qld)
October 28, 2018 6:00am
Originally published as Kids turning to a different G-word
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