Monday, July 06, 2015

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Rock, Walworth and Jefferson Counties, Inc.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Each week, we feature intergenerational program ideas that were tried and successful. This series is a tool to highlight various age-optimized programs and practices. The program descriptions are provided by representatives of the programs. Inclusion in this series does not imply Generations United’s endorsement or recommendation, but rather encourages ideas to inspire other programs.

This week’s cool idea is Big Brothers Big Sisters of Rock, Walworth and Jefferson Counties, Inc., which matches youth between the ages of 6 and 14 with Seniors living in an Independent Living Senior Community.

(Check our archives for parts 1-50.)

The youth and older adults meet once a week for a couple of hours each to share experiences and learn new things.

This program is part of the overall youth mentoring programs of Big Brothers Big Sisters and helps multiple generations with the match.

Statistics show that children spending a year in the program show stronger positive decision making skills, strong resistance to the use of drugs and alcohol, more respect for peers and those in authority, better grades and are more likely to take part in extracurricular activities.

At the same time, the senior population is seeing strong positive effects.

They report being more active and involved, building a sense of worth and their overall outlook is strong and positive.

Through such programs we hope to work together to build strength in our communities while we share our time and talents to help others.

Got something cool you tried that was successful? Why not tweet your cool intergenerational ideas to #cooligideas? You can also post them to our Intergenerational Connections Facebook Group. We want to highlight innovative age-optimized programs and practices through our blog, social media and weekly e-newsletter! Share the inspiration.

The Elder Service Partner Program - 2015 Program of Distinction Designee

The Elder Service Partner Program is an intergenerational service-learning experience for students enrolled in GERO 232 Sociology of Aging at Messiah College, a private college in Pennsylvania.

Students are paired with an Elder Service Partner (ESP) in completing two types of service.

First, students join their ESP in fulfilling obligations their ESPs have already made to their communities at food pantries, service organizations, etc.

Second, students also conduct interviews with their ESPs in order to create a chapter of a life story, which is presented to their ESPs at our celebratory reception at the end of the semester.

Learn about our other 2015 Programs of Distinction designees!

Bridge Meadows - 2015 Program of Distinction Designee

Bridge Meadows is an intentional intergenerational housing community in North Portland. 

Serving foster youth, adoptive parents, and low­‐income elders, Bridge Meadows cultivates permanence and family resilience through integrated onsite support services and therapeutic interventions. 

Children move from the instability of foster care placements to permanent homes and families. Adoptive families receive essential guidance and social support. 

Low‐income elders combat the deleterious health effects of social isolation by volunteering 100 hours/quarter in the community. 

Together, our three generations of residents transform individual vulnerability into collective strength, creating a whole that is greater than the sum of its parts.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Volunteers for Community Impact

EDITOR’S NOTE: Each week, we feature intergenerational program ideas that were tried and successful. This series is a tool to highlight various age-optimized programs and practices. The program descriptions are provided by representatives of the programs. Inclusion in this series does not imply Generations United’s endorsement or recommendation, but rather encourages ideas to inspire other programs.

This week’s cool idea is Volunteers for Community Impact, which sponsors the Foster Grandparent Program, RSVP, and VCI Cyber-Seniors throughout Central Florida, allowing adults ages 55 and older to connect with young people through a variety of sources.

(Check our archives for parts 1-49.)

The Foster Grandparent Program and RSVP create the opportunity for adults ages 55 and over to volunteer as little as 30 minutes up to 25 hours every week with special needs and at risk youth helping them learn to read, and stay on target for graduation.

VCI Cyber-Seniors connects adults with a young mentor who teaches them how to reconnect to their friends, family, and community through technology.

Be a Hero... Volunteer!

Got something cool you tried that was successful? Why not tweet your cool intergenerational ideas to #cooligideas? You can also post them to our Intergenerational Connections Facebook Group. We want to highlight innovative age-optimized programs and practices through our blog, social media and weekly e-newsletter! Share the inspiration.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

The South Brunswick Senior Center

EDITOR’S NOTE: Each week, we feature intergenerational program ideas that were tried and successful. This series is a tool to highlight various age-optimized programs and practices. The program descriptions are provided by representatives of the programs. Inclusion in this series does not imply Generations United’s endorsement or recommendation, but rather encourages ideas to inspire other programs.

This week’s cool idea is the Senior Center in South Brunswick, NJ, which partners with the local school district to conduct a number of intergenerational programs.

(Check our archives for parts 1-48.)

A highlight of the South Brunswick Senior Center’s partnership with the local school district is the Living Legacies project, an annual event that sees high schoolers and older adults collaborating for an original theatre performance.

Each year, the theme is different. Some past themes include veteran stories, immigration, and local history. The school gathers students and the senior center and their volunteer partner organizations to identify older adults within the township to participate.

They use the theme as the starting point for conversations and begin to meet regularly. Wonderful conversations are held, new things are learned, perspectives are shared, and a bond begins to form.

Older adults are interviewed by the high school students during their English classes.

The students then translate what they learned from all these interviews into monologues, turning them into a theatre performance piece presented at the senior center.

A reception follows, so seniors can then mingle with the students and discuss the show, which continues to foster the learning experience.

Got something cool you tried that was successful? Why not tweet your cool intergenerational ideas to #cooligideas? You can also post them to our Intergenerational Connections Facebook Group. We want to highlight innovative age-optimized programs and practices through our blog, social media and weekly e-newsletter! Share the inspiration.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Red Hook Community Farm


EDITOR’S NOTE: Each week, we feature intergenerational program ideas that were tried and successful. This series is a tool to highlight various age-optimized programs and practices. The program descriptions are provided by representatives of the programs. Inclusion in this series does not imply Generations United’s endorsement or recommendation, but rather encourages ideas to inspire other programs.

This week’s cool idea is Red Hook Community Farm, a vibrant community resource where young and old work, study and grow together as they sow, nurture and harvest plants on a 2.75 acre urban farm.

(Check our archives for parts 1-47.)

Neighborhood leaders and local youth, along with regional institutions, created the Farm to address food insecurity, unemployment and the alienation of youth from the Red Hook community.

What was once a dilapidated playground is now an intergenerational center for urban agriculture that serves as an experiential educational environment for youth, adults and elders.

Red Hook Community Farm provides sustenance to residents, creates meaningful work for neighborhood teens, generates thousands of dollars of economic activity and improves community food security.

Got something cool you tried that was successful? Why not tweet your cool intergenerational ideas to #cooligideas? You can also post them to our Intergenerational Connections Facebook Group. We want to highlight innovative age-optimized programs and practices through our blog, social media and weekly e-newsletter! Share the inspiration.

Tuesday, June 09, 2015

Meet Bonnie Her - Generations United Summer Intern

I’ve witnessed firsthand the injustices toward older adults.

It wasn’t until I took an intergenerational course that I realized the linchpin for that maltreatment and neglect is the lack of understanding that young and old are interdependent on one another.

Prior to my new understanding, I began my college career hoping to one day become a nurse.

Now, I’m a junior at San Diego State University, pursuing a Bachelors of Arts in Gerontology with an interest in intergenerational issues.

I graduate next Spring.

As someone who likes snorkeling, rock climbing and backpacking through Arizona’s canyons, I’m always looking for new experiences.

And this summer is no different with me making D.C. home for two months.

I’m thrilled to be with Generations United researching intergenerational programs for our directory, compiling information and materials for the Grandparents Raising Grandchildren bibliography, and assisting in the research for the next State of Grandfamiles report.

This is a great opportunity for me to learn and contribute to Generations United’s successes.