Canon Kip Senior Center life story class wraps up

We just finished the life story class at the Canon Kip Senior Center as part of the Golden Voices Project.  It was such a treat to meet, listen to and record the stories of the seniors that participated.  What an energetic group!  There was so much to talk about that the 1.5 hour class each week never seemed like enough time.  The seniors shared stories about growing up in the Philippines, becoming a professor, childhood chores, striving for and achieving the dreams of becoming a world class gemologist, religion, family… see, it was always a lively discussion! 

We’re now deep in the midst of making personalized life story DVDs for the seniors.  We will have a community event at the Canon Kip Senior Center to share these stories, so stay posted for more info!  The event will likely be in mid July.

Here are some photo highlights from the class.

Many thanks to Canon Kip Senior Center for hosting us, and to Lolita and Josephine, in particular, for their help in scheduling and making sure things ran smoothly.

, , ,

Last Wednesday, we completed our second week of a four-week life story class at the OMI Senior Center.  I can’t even begin to describe how inspired I felt when I left the class that morning.  It was so amazing to hear the stories that the seniors were sharing — life in the Philippines during World War II when Japan invaded; moving to England alone at fifteen years old not knowing any English; home and family that the church provided; and more.  It was not only educational for me, it was also an important reminder that life has so many possibilities.  I’m excited that this Wednesday, we’ll actually start recording some of these stories on video.  We’ll share more video highlights over the next month.

In the meantime, here are some pics from our class last week:

, , , ,

We gathered with a group of seniors today at the Castro Senior Center for a community event to celebrate with three seniors, whose stories were videotaped as part of the Golden Voices life story class.

The audience smiled as photo highlights of travels to Egypt, pictures of ballet performances, and baby pictures of the life story class participants were shown on screen. Short video clips told stories of the seniors meeting her husband for the first time after his return from the Pacific Theater, lessons learned from a distinguished career as a professional ballet dancer, and being inspired by world travels to become an actor. Here’s a shortened version of the video:

Watching the videos spurred the seniors to ask the students more questions. As one attendee said, “You might sit near one of them and never know that they have these fascinating stories. We sometimes don’t think to ask.” Betty Trooper-Naftaly, one of the students in the class, added: “I’m glad I’m doing this. It’s a great way to pass down our stories to future generations.”

We couldn’t have said it better.  We at Famento developed this project to celebrate the life stories of seniors in our community. It was really exciting to see the energy and smiling faces in the room.  It sounded like a conversation that just started.

We look forward to having some of the seniors join us in one of our future classes.

Special thanks to the Castro Senior Center for hosting the class and our event, our co-sponsor San Francisco Department of Aging and Adult Services, Gold Partner Cypress Lawn, and Mi Zhou who graciously volunteered to take portrait photos of our life story class students.

Some photo highlights from the event:

life story class students castro senior center event

life story event

friends chatting at life stories event

life stories

chatting at life stories event

, , ,

Seniors Life Story Classes at OMI Senior Center

We’ve finalized the details for the next Golden Voices life story classes.  If you or your senior friends live in San Francicso and can join us, we’d love to see you:

Dates:          Wednesdays, March 4-25, 2009
Time:           9 am – 10:30 am
Location:   OMI Senior Center (1948 Ocean Ave.)

, ,

Life story classes coming to a senior center near you

Over the last several months, we’ve been busy developing a new program.  I’m very excited to tell you about the Golden Voices project that we’ve launched in partnership with the San Francisco Department of Aging & Adult Services.  Our main goal is to encourage all seniors to share and record their life stories. We’ll be leading life story classes across different senior centers in San Francisco.  The life stories that will come out of these classes will be shared in community events, a citywide public exhibit, and also added to the San Francisco Public Library’s archive.

In fact, we just completed our first series of classes at the Castro Senior Center, and it was a success!

Photo sharing

Sharing life story

Written story

It was a fun and educational experience for me as I got to learn about the journey of being one of the first males as a professional classic ballet dancer, traveling through Europe and Egypt in the late 1940s, and going to college as a woman in the 50s.

I want to thank our participants for their encouraging feedback:

“[I enjoyed] …the relaxed method you used to make everyone comfortable about talking about their life experience.”

“It would be great to be able to extend the number of meetings so more periods of our lives could be covered.”

We’re busy editing the videos from the first series of classes, but we’ll definitely share some of the highlights when they’re ready.

For those of you who are in the San Francisco area on March 9, 2009, please join us for a free community sharing event where we will unveil the video highlights from the class.  You will also get a chance to hear some of the amazing life stories from the participants first hand!

We also have an extra treat for all the seniors who attend this event — get a free portrait picture taken by award winning photographer, Zhou Mi. (CORRECTION:  We will only be taking portrait photos of the students from the class.)

Community Event:  March 9, 2009, 10:30am – 11:30am, Castro Senior Center (110 Diamond Street)

Don’t miss the event!  We’re counting on your support.

, ,
Clicky Web Analytics