Tuesday, April 01, 2014

What is a Program of Distinction designation and why is it so important?

When we started the Program of Distinction designation in 2010, we thought it was important to recognize excellence while celebrating the rich diversity among intergenerational programs. 

That year, we recognized six programs: Kinship Care Resource Center, SMART (Students and Mature Adults Read Together) and Reading Buddies After School, St. Ann Center for Intergenerational Care, United Retirement Center/Avera, and Workforce Academy for Youth.

The designation, which is active for 3 years and then must be renewed, serves as the only U.S. benchmark for intergenerational programs based on the criteria that underpin the effectiveness of any intergenerational program.

Since the inaugural award year, we have recognized 11 other programs with this elite national recognition.

Why is this recognition important for the designees?

In our recent follow up with the inaugural winners, this is what they said about the designation and the process of completing the application:

·         gave them national legitimacy – something they did not have before
·         helped them secure new funding
·         allowed them to realize they had statistics and data that helped contextualize their work and demonstrate impact
·         resulted in them increasing their intergenerational staff – with more understanding of why intergenerational programs are critical to their organization and the community
·         demonstrated they were part of a larger network – adding credibility
·         outlined areas that could be improved to provide even stronger and more impactful programming.

In addition to the designation logo for use with promotional materials, added benefits of becoming a Program of Distinction include national recognition through our premier listing on our website and priority inclusion in Generations United’s trainings, publications and resources.

Consider becoming a Program of Distinction and being a part of this elite group.

Please complete the short pre-application checklist to see if your program qualifies, then downloadand complete the application.  The deadline is May 1, 2015.

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