| 2 min read | by Lonnie Huhman, |

A meeting of the minds and generations as young and old came together recently in Saline for an intergenerational book club.

Over the past few months a group of residents from the senior living community, Brecon Village and some students from Liberty School’s alternative high school met to discuss the book, “The Fault in Our Stars.”

Both groups paid visits to each other with the resident group from Brecon taking a bus over to Liberty and the students walking down to Brecon. The book group culminated with them watching the movie version of the story, which is a mix of emotions that sees a teenage girl diagnosed with lung cancer attend a cancer support group where she makes friends and finds love.

The Intergenerational Book Club

The book was the motivation for the book club, but getting to know each other and listening to each other’s stories and views was the result.

“I think it was amazing to connect and hear the book from their point of view, learn what they think about teens and today and what it was like when they were teenagers,” junior Jenny Odish said. “I’d definitely recommend doing something like this again in the future.”

Over at Brecon, the feelings were mutual.

“It was a really nice opportunity to meet some wonderful people,” Beverly Rentschler said.

Rentschler along with her fellow Brecon residents Bernie Dunn and Betty Waldon were a little unsure of the book at first, but they quickly got into it and that led to some vibrant and fun discussions.

“There was a lot of nice back and forth,” Dunn said. “They were interested in getting our ideas and views, and I was kind of surprised to see many of us were on the same page, but we were. I enjoyed it.”

The students were from the novel study class, where about 10 students work with their teacher Holly Poppink, who also said the experience was awesome. She said there was a genuine interest from both generations to connect.

“The kids loved it,” she said.

“The Brecon friends were kind and I think they liked talking with us about the novel and about our lives,” said sophomore Jackson Wing.

Waldon said she really enjoyed the trip to the school. She said the students were commendable.

In the end, one common sentiment was the positive takeaways.

Rentschler said one hears so much about the younger generation, so it was refreshing to connect with the students and get to know them.

“They were outstanding,” she said.

Freshman Andrew Watson agreed and said, “It was interesting to get a new perspective from an older generation with a different mindset and views on the world. Getting to share our experiences and lessen the gap was an unexpected surprise.”

The two groups plan for more, possibly an intergenerational art class.