Issue nr. 20 - 03/11/2020

This is the 20th edition of the TOY Newsletter! Quite a milestone for the TOY Programme, which began eight years ago as a small but ambitious European project.

In this edition we are issuing an invitation to the upcoming online event: ‘Flexible to Scale Up’ about TOY for Inclusion' on 17 November from 14,00 to 16.00. In the week of the US elections, we are sharing a good news story about IGL in Portland, Oregon. And as we adjust to a second wave of COVID in Europe, we are sharing some hopeful findings about an innovative library service in Italy linking young children and older adults – Storytellers Project, as well as some insights from the participants in the current edition of the TOY Online Course about IGL in COVID times.

Latest News

Free online event 17 November: TOY for Inclusion, Flexible to Scale Up - Registration open!

Click here to register!

The TOY for Inclusion project has been active for four years in eight different EU countries, successfully showcasing the effectiveness of non-formal, community-based early childhood education and care services in providing meaningful support to (vulnerable) families and young children.

Following the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, the TOY Play Hubs were forced to close their doors. But, they did not stop their activities. Local teams leapt into action to address community challenges, often in ways formal services have not been able to.

Due to their unique and well-established position within communities, TOY Play Hubs have proved to be a trusted resource and support system for families that have been facing exacerbated challenges due to the crisis.

On November 17th from 2 pm to 4 pm (CET), TOY for inclusion partners will share more about this flexible approach and how it can be adapted in communities across Europe.

Click here to see the programme and register. 

TOY for Inclusion is coordinated by ICDI and funded by Erasmus+ Programme and Open Society Foundations (OSF).


News from the TOY Online Course

This is the final week of the current edition of the ever popular TOY Online Course about intergenerational learning. One of the topics learners have been grappling with in the discussion forums is the short and long-term impact COVID-19 is having on IG practice. Participants have been sharing experiences about the readjustment and reimagining of IGL initiatives so that they are safe for all involved.

It has been heartening that many see possibilities for IGL activities to continue in this 'new normal' (see also Storyteller Project below). Thinking about the longterm impact of COVID, one learner suggested that COVID-19's legacy is to reintroduce family back to each other: ‘the spirit of family has been given a new lease of life within society. And with family comes the intergenerational relationships that should occur naturally’. Another learner suggests that post COVID, there will be a greater appreciation for sharing spaces and a move away from dividing spaces by generation.

Find out more and join the conversation with IGL practitioners from around the world by participating the next TOY Online Course, which will run from March to April 2021. Registration will be open from February 2021.


Ever heard of 'returnment'? 

This is an alternative term for retirement and it is very much in line with the idea of active ageing that TOY promotes. Returnment encourages older adults to work after work, to use their skills and knowledge to benefit the greater good.

The term was coined by Jay Bloom, an IG advocate based in Portland, Oregon, US who next week will be honoured by SAGE (Senior Advocates for Generational Equity) along with Portland’s Bridge Meadows, pioneers of intergenerational community living.  



TOY Blog: remote IGL experiment, the Storytellers Project

One of many shining lights for remote IGL is the Italian-based Storytellers Project, a library service that connects a community of adult readers (the Storytellers) to young children and their families for remote reading aloud sessions. It was developed and initiated by Laura Boffi, an interaction & service designer and researcher. The first COVID-19 lockdown provided a natural experiment to pilot and evaluate it.

Read the blog Giulia Cortellesi wrote about the experience here.


On the TOY website we commit to provide current and ground-making news, research and developments about the world of intergenerational learning involving young children and older adults. If you have a news item you would like to share with us, please contact us at: 

International Child Development Initatives- ICDI

Margaret Kernan and Giulia Cortellesi 

Together Old and Young will build age friendly communities