282015Feb
Then and Now – Oceanside High School students interview residents

Then and NowLynne Lofman’s great grandfather helped construct the Rockland Breakwater when it was built at the turn of the century.

The resident of the Methodist Conference Home shared stories about her great grandfather who emigrated from Canada to help construct the landmark with Ali Godfrey, a junior at Oceanside High School.

Godfrey interviewed Lofman as part of an innovative new program between Jobs for Maine’s Graduates (JMG) and the Methodist Conference Home. Student were paired with seniors who they meet with weekly to research area landmarks and compare how they had changed over the decades.

At the end of the Then and Now project, students made a presentation about what they learned to all the residents of the Methodist Conference Homes.

“I loved this project since because there were so many benefits for both sides,” said Scott Browning, a JMG specialist that worked with Oceanside students.

Seniors were able to share their knowledge and students got an opportunity to interact with people out in the community, he explained.

Not only did students learn valuable interviewing and presentation skills, they established a connection with a senior who they looked forward to seeing each week. “By the end of the project the students came away feeling like they had made a difference – that they had helped brightened someone else’s day,” he said.

“Seniors liked interacting with students, and the opportunity to share their firsthand experience,” said Katie Tarbox, the activities director for MCH.

The two groups hope to continue meeting in 2015 for other projects.