Press Releases

NYC Aging and NYC Public Schools Launch Anti-Ageism Educational Pilot Program for High School Students

Intergenerational Connections to Fight Ageism Pilot will be implemented in 13 Brooklyn high schools and is designed to teach students to recognize ageism and age-based discrimination.

The Department for the Aging (NYC Aging) and the Department of Education (NYC Public Schools) have launched an anti-ageism educational pilot program for students designed to help them recognize ageism and prevent age-based discrimination. Named Intergenerational Connections to Fight Ageism, the pilot will be implemented at 13 high schools in south Brooklyn this spring semester and will include a resource guide to help teachers develop classroom lessons, activities, and discussions about the effects ageism has on older adults.

“The first step in combating ageism, like many other types of prejudice, is information and learning other’s perspectives,” said New York City Mayor Eric Adams. “This pilot program will help our city’s youth recognize biases, so they can dismantle what may be their own and other people’s ageist views. They are the leaders and the city’s future, and we need their partnership to ensure New York remains an inclusive city for all ages. Congratulations to the Department for the Aging, the Department of Education, and the entire New York City Cabinet for Older New Yorkers. This pilot launch demonstrates the possibilities and innovation that can be achieved through inter-agency collaboration.”

“Ageism is an insidious form of discrimination that is not talked about enough. Schools have a unique opportunity to directly engage young people about age-based discrimination and encourage them to be change agents, so they do not face the same type of discrimination when they become older adults,” said NYC Aging Commissioner Lorraine Cortés-Vázquez.

“It brings great delight to partner with NYC Aging to teach our young people about the harm that ageism causes,” said Chancellor David C. Banks. “This is exactly the type of additions to curriculum that are borne out of reimagining the student experience. It is a top priority at New York City Public Schools that our students graduate equipped to be a positive force for change, and programs like this one are a step toward that mission.”

Ageism is the stereotyping and discrimination against individuals or groups based on age. Ageism is often considered the third “ism” similar in many ways to racism and sexism. It can take many forms, including prejudicial attitudes, discriminatory practices, or institutional policies and practices that perpetuate stereotypical beliefs. 

The Intergenerational Connections to Fight Ageism pilot program will help students identify ageism and learn what they can do as youth to stop the perpetuation of ageist stereotypes, which impact both youth and older adults. The pilot will be part of classroom discussions during the spring semester at Brooklyn high schools in Districts 17, 18, 20, 21 and 22. A full list of the participating schools is below.

To help facilitate classroom discussion, NYC Aging’s Resource Guide includes classroom activities, student projects, articles, and short films on topics such as ageism in health care and advertising. Once the pilot program is completed student and teacher experience surveys will be collected to help modify future anti-ageism educational programs.  

The Intergenerational Connections to Fight Ageism pilot is part of the NYC Cabinet for Older New Yorkers established by Mayor Eric Adams in September 2022. The Cabinet is an interagency collective comprised of 20 City agencies that will seek coordination and efficiency across departments, leverage resources, and shape current and future services to better serve the City’s 1.64 million older adults, ensuring that New York is an inclusive city for all ages. Cabinet members cover multiple facets of city services and resources, including public safety, housing, transportation, health, social services, and education.

High Schools participating in Intergenerational Connections to Fight Ageism are:

  • Edward R. Murrow High School
  • Brooklyn Institute for Liberal Arts
  • Origins High School
  • Brooklyn Community High School for Excellence and Equity
  • James Madison High School
  • Franklin Delano Roosevelt High School
  • The School for Human Rights
  • Clara Barton High School
  • Midwood High School
  • Cultural Academy for the Arts and Sciences
  • Victory Collegiate High School
  • William E. Grady Career and Technical Education High School
  • It Takes a Village Academy