Context for intergenerational relationships

Playground Construction Commitee Responsibilities

Materials and Machinery Committee

This committee develops a master materials list and establishes subcommittees to seek out sources and machinery. The objective is to build with quality material at as little cost as possible. The project is built on the assumption that within any given community, someone knows someone who can get what you need for free or at a nominal cost. The senior generation will most likely provide the most contacts.

Once a contact has been made, it has to be maintained to ensure on-time delivery. Only when you have the item in your possession can you safely put a check in the "item received" column. It is not uncommon to have a "sure thing" fall through. Anticipate this from the beginning and always have a back-up or two. It also helps to have a realistic timeline and a sense of humor.

Structure Committees

Each structure to be built is assigned a captain and crew. Captains are responsible to the project foreman. Captains should have good communication and organizational skills and feel comfortable directing a construction crew. Each crew member is given an overview sheet showing a plotting of the entire playground with the crew's specific assignment marked, a diagram of the assigned structure, the starting time, a list of crew members' telephone numbers, and a list of hand tools to bring on construction day.

Budget Committee

This is the perfect committee for a retired bookkeeper and young mathematicians. The keepers of the treasury will be on frequent call as funds are obtained from other budget lines, fund raisers, contributions, etc. and then distributed as needed. Providing this committee, as well as all the committees, with "official" office space in the school helps give intergenerational participants frequent access to each other. Committee relationships can easily overlap into classroom relationships. For example, children may host their senior committee partners in class to talk about real-life math.

Publicity Committee

This groups keeps the community informed and enthusiastic about the project. Publicity assignments should include arranging television, radio, and newspaper interviews and promotional spots, writing newsletters, designing posters, and assigning a project photographer to record each stage of the project. As a multimedia committee, it must rely on a multitude of experiences. This means an intergenerational participation bonanza! Children with compatible interests can be assigned to work with senior members and parents who work in various news media.

Refreshment Committee

Food and drink are the fuel for a successful playground raising. An intergenerational volunteer committee can solicit donations and plan menus. Restaurants may donate foods and parents and grandparents may prepare foods. The latter is better because it can involve all ages in more hands-on experiences.

The committee might assemble a child-adult team at each grade level to coordinate breakfast and lunch "potluck" style. Kindergarten families could supply breakfast items, first-graders can bring drinks and dessert, second-graders the cold and hot salads, etc. Breakfast can be doughnuts and coffee or a sit-down meal. Lunch can be sandwiches or hot dogs on the grill or a full family-style buffet. Leftovers will be very popular as afternoon hours pass by. Food and drink runners should make frequent rounds of the work areas. When food and drink are provided, the family stays together at the site and the work force stays at maximum strength.

Safety Committee

This committee monitors areas in which vehicles, large machines, or electrical tools are in use. It also patrols the grounds for risks such as improperly-placed rakes, axes, and chainsaws; boards with protruding nails, or children trying to use structures before completion. It is extremely important to take safety precautions. At least one on-site committee member should have first aid training.

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