State departments of Aging and Education offer suggestions to schools about providing positive images during ‘100th Day’ celebrations
The Ohio Department of Aging and the Ohio Department of Education are offering suggestions to educators and administrators encouraging them to forego the increasingly common practice of allowing staff and students to dress up as 100-year-olds to mark the 100th day of the school year.
The seemingly harmless practice reinforces negative stereotypes about the appearance and behaviors of older people rather than celebrating the wisdom and character that seniors develop across a lifetime.
Here are some fun ideas to mark the 100th day of school while fostering a positive image of aging:
- Read a book with students that portrays aging in a positive light;
- Invite a local centenarian to visit with the class and share a story from his or her youth;
- Ask local senior centers to demonstrate health and wellness programs they offer, and ask students to compare those activities to their own physical education;
- Learn about the Ohio Senior Citizens Hall of Fame and discuss recent inductees with students;
- Post their age-positive activities to social media with the hashtag #100DaysWiserOH.
Promoting positive perceptions of aging and older citizens starts with emphasizing the connections we share as Ohioans and human beings. Regardless of age or ability, older adults have a lot to contribute and can serve as role models for healthy aging.