Monday, May 24, 2010

Inter-Generational Center Site Visit A Success!

We are celebrating the success of a wonderful site visit today at the Easter Seals’ Harry & Jeanette Weinberg Inter-Generational Center in Silver Spring, Md. where Assistant Secretary for Aging Kathy Greenlee, Assistant Secretary for Children and Families Carmen Nazario and Maryland Senator Ben Cardin -- along with many other governmental, philanthropic and executive leaders -- came together to stress the importance of cost effective and high-quality intergenerational shared sites for vulnerable seniors and children.

In their first joint public appearance, Assistant Secretaries Greenlee and Nazario praised the success of the program and encouraged others around the country to adopt the intergenerational model.

“One of the beauties of this facility is that it was intentionally designed to recognize the importance of relationships at all ages,” Assistant Secretary Nazario said. “This is the type of program that we need to promote throughout the country.”

“Seniors want and need to be active members of their communities and their families and their faith organizations for as long as they live,” Assistant Secretary Greenlee said. “It’s just so wonderful to come to a place like this and say, ‘This is the best we can do, and we should promote this everywhere in the nation.’”

Maryland Senator Cardin echoed the Secretaries’ remarks, calling intergenerational centers a “win-win-win” solution.

“The Easter Seals’ Harry & Jeanette Weinberg Inter-Generational Center is what I would call a ‘win-win-win’ for everyone involved,” said Senator Cardin. “It provides children with the support and comfort that can come from older adults, it gives seniors a sense of purpose as they interact with youngsters and it means communities will be able to pool their resources to provide more comprehensive services to both children and seniors. Inter-generational centers are an innovative, creative approach to help children, seniors and communities as they struggle with scarce resources.”

Attendees heard from Pamela Perry, the mother of twin 4-year-olds, one developmentally disabled, the other typically developing, who found the Inter-Generational Center in early 2009 after looking for a facility that could serve the needs of both of her children. At the Inter-Generational center, Perry found a place where both of her children could learn and grow together while forming valuable relationships with older adults. “When [my daughter] joined Easter Seals she was withdrawn and shy,” Perry said. “She has become a confident, conversant, joyful girl.” Her children have grown socially and intellectually from their interaction with older adults at the center. “For them, their elder friends are warm, caring grandparent substitutes,” Perry said.
“What we’re doing here before is not ‘what’s nice,’ but indeed, very necessary,” said Lisa Reeves, President and CEO of the Easter Seals Greater Washington-Baltimore Region, citing billions of dollars lost every year by businesses whose employees are struggling with caregiving responsibilities. “What you’re seeing here today is an opportunity to lead, not be led; to be ahead of the curve, not to react.”

Also in attendance were Bryan Samuels, Commissioner of the Administration on Children, Youth and Families and Joan Lombardi, Deputy Assistant Secretary and Inter-Departmental Liaison for Early Childhood Development Administration for Children and Families.

Thanks to all who worked long and hard to make this event possible, especially Lisa Reeves, Easter Seals Greater Washington-Baltimore Region Board Chairman Ralph Boyd and the whole Easter Seals team.

Photos: (Top) Sen. Cardin and Amare Smith, 4; (Middle) Assistant Secretary Greenlee watches an intergenerational activity; (Bottom) Assistant Secretary Nazario watches an intergenerational activity with Generations United Executive Director Donna Butts

For more photos, visit our Flickr album for the site visit.


Brent Elrod said...

Wonderful visibility from key government leaders. Keep up the great work!

Anonymous said...

How extremely exciting! Congratulations!

sbo said...

thank you so much. fosbobetr good Archive

sbobet said...

Wonderful visibility from key governmensbo
t leaders. Keep up the great work!