Generations United and MetLife Foundation are pleased to recognize five incredible communities with the first ever Best Intergenerational Communities Awards. These awards were created to heighten awareness of the importance intergenerational living and programs play in building strong, supportive communities. The winning entries were selected by a blue ribbon panel of judges.
Virginia Planning District 10
City of Charlottesville and the five surrounding counties of Albemarle, Fluvanna, Greene, Louisa and Nelson
“Healthy Aging is a Lifelong Activity”
Covering the City of Charlottesville and sprawling counties of Albemarle, Fluvanna, Greene, Louisa and Nelson, Virginia’s Planning District 10 was, until fairly recently, as divided in its approach to serving multiple generations as in its geography. Thanks to a concerted effort by the Jefferson Area Board for Aging (JABA), that has changed. Today, organizations with audiences as different as the Boys and Girls Club, the Alzheimer’s Association, the YMCA, and the Local Food Hub work together to help ensure healthy aging at every stage of life in Planning District 10. The district has become a national model by embracing a philosophy of intergenerational mutual benefit.
In 2003 Planning District 10 created the 2020 Plan: Aging in Community. The plan recognized the importance of intergenerational initiatives and provided a clear blueprint the community could follow in its quest to become a truly great intergenerational place to live. The 2020 Plan caught the attention of the U.S. Administration on Aging, which presented Planning District 10 with an “Overall Excellence Award.” From that plan, Planning District 10 partnered with Just Partners, Inc. to develop the “Viable Futures Toolkit,” which offers ideas on creating solutions for older generations that simultaneously address the needs of younger people and community livability. Thirteen states now use the toolkit.
Today, JABA’s mission is “to promote, establish and preserve sustainable communities for healthy aging that benefit individuals and families of all ages.” All eight of JABA’s community centers have active intergenerational programs and members of its two adult care centers interact on a daily basis with co-located child care centers. In addition, there are intergenerational song-writing/performance programs, tutoring opportunities, vocational education programs, nutrition initiatives, and high school student representation on JABA’s volunteer board, as well as many other intergenerational activities. Community gardens yield locally grown food that is used to feed elderly residents at the local community and senior centers.
For more information about Virginia Planning District 10, download America’s Best Intergenerational Communities.