Our Untapped Treasures: Children and Elders are Problem Solvers too

with Pamela Slaughter

January 13, 2024 | 11:00 a.m. | Springfield Public Library

225 5th St., Springfield OR 97477

There are many reasons why people fail to invite children and elders to the table when it comes to solving problems: “They’re too young.” “They need to be protected from hearing about serious issues.” “I’m sure they care, but the world is a very different place now.” “They’re just going to talk about how things used to be.” “I wouldn’t want my child to be burdened with this reality.” “I don’t want to have to explain the issues repeatedly.”

The more serious the issue, the less likely it is that a child or elder will be helping to come up with a solution. We were all children once, and sometimes we had great solutions to problems that adults didn’t have. If we’re fortunate, we’ll all become elderly, and we will have a wealth of experience and accumulated wisdom to share. The goal of this conversation is to encourage people to approach problem solving in a more inclusive manner and ask elders or children to share their ideas.

Learn more about this free, in-person event.

Pamela Slaughter was born and raised in Portland and graduated from Linfield College. After raising her family and retiring from her twenty-three career as an Adult Protective Services investigator, she founded a nonprofit organization People of Color Outdoors (POCO), which hosts an education and wellness program for children called the POCO Guardians.

The POCO Guardians are young, but when they hear about climate change, invasive species, and how our wildlife is on the decline, they want to solve those problems. Slaughter has seen some great ideas come from very young people. Likewise, when Slaughter worked as an Adult Protective Services investigator, she saw that elderly people were often not included when life-changing decisions were being made about the elder’s future, though they were capable of participating. Slaughter is excited to hear the community's thoughts and ideas on this topic.

Event Sponsors

City of Springfield




Timothy Williams at twilliams@springfield-or.gov