The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at the University of Rhode Island is planning to bridge the gap between generations this fall, with a course that integrates learning for both undergraduates and older adult students.

This course, instructed by Bob Haynes, will be a variation of an existing OLLI course called “Let’s Make a Short Movie,” which has its students, write, direct, act in, film and edit their own movie. This new version of the course hopes to bring together both undergraduates and OLLI members, creating an inter-generational relationship from which everyone is able to learn.

Haynes, a self-proclaimed “old man URI student” as well as an instructor for OLLI, has been involved with the institute for a number of years, both in Cincinnati and here at URI.

“At OLLI, a subject of great interest is inter-generation involvement,” Haynes said. “So I said, why don’t we do an inter-generational ‘Let’s Make a Short Movie’ class? Everyone we have talked to has been very supportive.”

In order to generate interest among undergraduates for this course, Haynes has been in contact with several faculty members, including Keith Brown of the Film Studies Department, Erica Estus PharmD of the Pharmacy Practice Department and Dr. Skye Leedahl of the Human Development and Family Studies Department. Through working with these people, as well as film student Amelia Votta, Haynes has been spreading word about this upcoming course in order to garner support from younger students.

Beth Leconte, executive director of OLLI at URI, is thrilled about the progress that OLLI has made in its eight yearsat URI.

“During the past year, we’ve put more emphasis on creating programs that bridge the gap and allow the older adults to interact with young adults with respect and appreciation,” Leconte said.

This inter-generational class, modeled after the original eight-week course, will only be six weeks long. Because the class will be half undergraduates, Haynes decided it would work best with their busy schedules if the class were to be shorter in duration. In order to make up for these two weeks, four brainstorming sessions will be held this semester in order to begin formulating ideas for the script that will be used in the course. These sessions will be held on March 16, March 30, April 13 and April27, from 6-8 p.m. in Quinn Hall room 214.

OLLI, which currently offers more than 60 courses per semester in areas such as art, music, culture and history, has more than 1,100 members currently involved. Enrollment in the program is open to anyone over the age of 50 who is looking to further their knowledge.

“I love collaborative exercises,” Haynes said. “Movie making is extremely collaborative. I am nothing more than a facilitator and moderator; I don’t know more than anyone else. But I love bringing people together.”

If you are interested in this course and would like a chance to work with and learn from members of OLLI, there will be 10 undergraduate spots open for this course. For more information on OLLI, and on the upcoming course, please contact Beth Leconte at olli_bleconte@uri.edu and Bob Haynes at rfhaynes@my.uri.edu.