When school children connect to tell and share their life stories, they experience the best form of social and emotional education. They are learning....

1) To talk with a person who is different from themselves and have empathy for that person. In some cases, they are connecting with students their own age, but other times they are connected with older adults.

2) To carry on an eye-to-eye, face-to-face conversation. This is far different from texting their friends or sharing information on Facebook.

3) To work their brain. There is nothing more complicated than another human being. This is the best form of brain fitness.

4) To be good citizens. When we really learn to listen to each other (not just hearing but truly listening) we are making a great leap forward. Our government leadership for the future needs to have people who know how listen to each other and make compromises.

5) To be open to emotions. When people share their life experience, it is common for joys and challenges to be discussed. These conversations are many times accompanied by laughter and tears. Children who can face emotions and be emotional themselves will be ahead of their peers in the long run. Without conversation, emotions can be locked inside and cause pain and depression.

Schools that move toward excellence in social and emotional education will be truly preparing their students for the future. The future requires creativity, conversation, connection, and knowing and loving each other. Capturing life stories can be a very relevant experience for students. This will make the school a better place and impact the community at large in a great way.

To find great resources for intergenerational, oral history experiences in the classroom, call 1-866-543-3246 or visit  http://www.lifebio.com/