Times Before Televison, (TBTV) a partnership between senior citizens and fifth grade students - began in 1982 and went strong until 2012. Sharon Carlson, ISD #181 Volunteer Coordinator working together with Lois Lawrence the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program Coordinator (RSVP) (both are retired now) felt it was a time for bringing the generations together.
I have had the pleasure of continuing the program for the past 15 years. TBTV was an opportunity for community members, usually senior citizens to share their craft or hobby they did before the invention of the television and an opportunity to visit our schools. With the increased viewing of television and technology today, many young people have lost much creativity. Something special happened when the two generations were given the opportunity to interact. Sharon felt as I did that the senior citizens received as much as the students. Sharon’s favorite story was when the presenters were talking about how they celebrated Christmas. One elderly gentleman said that every time he peels an orange, he thinks about his childhood Christmas celebrations because in his Christmas stocking would be an orange, an apple and a pair of socks and that was the only time all year that his family could afford the fresh fruit. I still remember watching the children, wide-eyed, listening to his story and those of the other senior citizens. It took a lot of commitment from our community year after year, student after student, but every time was memorable.
I would like to thank all of the volunteers who shared their time with the fifth grade students and the teachers who opened their classrooms. Our last program was held November 20, 2012. In closing this program, it was great having Sharon Carlson, now a senior citizen and one of the founders of the program, there to share a passion of hers with the students. Sharon started the program and ended the program.
Susan B. Rogers/ISD #181 Volunteer Coordinator