Insta-Gran photography project connects generations

Ahuroa School pupils snap photos at Mahurangi Kindergarten's 'Grandparents and Special Person Day' lunch for their ...
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Ahuroa School pupils snap photos at Mahurangi Kindergarten's 'Grandparents and Special Person Day' lunch for their InstaGran project.

School photography project 'Insta-Gran' is re-connecting generations.

Involving students from Mahurangi College, Ahuroa School and Mahurangi Kindergarten, the project has students spending time and snapping pics with the elderly generation.

Project leader Theressa Butler says the generations are making connections through the photography medium.

"In the technological world our students are growing up in, the generation gap can be very quickly widened if we let it."

"The great thing about encouraging the younger generation to connect via photography is that it gets them to turn the camera off themselves and encourages them to look more closely at what is, or more importantly who is around them."

Students have been photographing grandparents, elderly friends, and the residents at Summerset Falls Retirement Village in Warkworth.

Butler says students were reserved to snap photos at first, but the atmosphere changed as they got to know the residents.

"They discovered some residents were photographers themselves, and were able to get some valuable advice."

"Students were able to talk to residents about the technology they were using, and tried to work out together how they could connect online to share their photos with them."

Butler says students were "buzzing" on the way back to school, and proud of themselves for getting out of their comfort zones.

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Mahurangi Kindergarten held a 'Grandparents and Special Person Day Lunch' last week to coincide with the project. 

Young photographers from Ahuroa School and Mahurangi College paid a visit to the kindergarten, but they weren't the only ones snapping photos. 

"Most grandparents had their phones out and were taking selfies of themselves and their grandchildren," Butler says. 

"Skype, FaceTime and social networks are all great ways for generations to stay connected, but nothing beats face to face real time spent together."

The project will result in an exhibition at Orewa's Estuary Arts Centre in September.

New Zealand schools are invited to participate in an 'Insta-Gran' style photograph competition.

Open to all students aged 4-14, photograph entries need to be the result of time spent with a grandparent, or friend of a similar generation.

Contact Theressa Butler at tbutler@ahuroa.school.nz for more information.

 - Rodney Times

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