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Together We Thrive Intergenerational Programs and Possibilities

Together We Thrive Intergenerational Programs and Possibilities

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Together We Thrive Intergenerational Programs and Possibilities

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  1. Together We ThriveIntergenerational Programs and Possibilities Karen DeBord, Shannon Jarrott, & Matt Kaplan May 15, 2012 1:30-3:00 p.m. Sponsored by the CYFERnet Parent/Family Editorial Board

  2. -- AGENDA -- • Introductions – Karen • The “building blocks” of intergenerational programming – Matt • Examples of intergenerational programs within and beyond Extension • Caregiving, shared sites, support for immigrants, and more – Shannon • Community planning, healthy eating, and more – Matt • Resources – Shannon and Matt • Evaluation – Shannon • Discussion, questions and answers – Karen

  3. This session will: • Review principles for effective practice. • Highlight many types of intergenerational program models. • Encourage you to (further) explore and experiment with intergenerational models that are appropriate for the settings in which you work.

  4. Just What Do We Mean By “Intergenerational”? • Intergenerational practice aims to bring people together in purposeful, mutually beneficial activities which promote greater understanding and respect between generations and contributes to building more cohesive communities. [Beth Johnson Foundation]

  5. Intergenerational programs: • Emphasize what the generations can contribute to one another. • Emphasize collaboration across agencies/ systems that serve different age groups. • Generate activities that are mutually beneficial for the young and older participants. • Build upon a lifespan approach to civic engagement and community-building.

  6. There Are Unlimited Possibilities

  7. Principles for effective practice • Know your participants. • Form strategic partnerships. • Pay attention to the way roles are constructed for the participants. • Train staff in intergenerational facilitation skills. • The 5 R’s.

  8. Paying attention to changes in the older adult population Recent research shows that “Baby Boomers” in the US: Want new opportunitiesfor lifelong learning and civic engagement. Want more potential for growth and flexibility than they had in their work lives. Want to be more involved in community – Meaningful volunteer and leadership roles. Want opportunities for multigenerational family and community living.

  9. ENGAGEDENRICHEDENERGIZED A social marketing approach for getting adults more involved in volunteer and educational activities Temple University’s Coming of Age initiative

  10. How can universities better address the needs of Baby Boomers?

  11. The importance of Strategic Partnerships • Some good candidates for strategic partners: • Educational institutions • Community-based organizations serving youth, older adults, and families • Faith-based institutions • Neighborhood associations • Government agencies • Arts and cultural institutions • Housing departments or developments • Health promotion agencies • Environmental education organizations • Libraries

  12. Need to pay attention to the way roles are constructed for the participants

  13. Need to train staff in facilitation skills

  14. What do skilled facilitators do? • Promote question asking (formal and informal) and point out similarities and differences in participants’ answers. • Display readiness to step back and allow the participants to figure out the best ways to share their knowledge, insights, and engaging personalities. • Help participants translate discovery about others into discovery about self. • Turn learners into teachers. • Look for ways to convert learning about the community into action.

  15. Five Essential Elements of Intergenerational Programs • Roles that are meaningful for all participants. • Relationships that are intentionally fostered between youth and older adults. • Reciprocity between older adults and youth. • Recognition that all generations should be valued and respected. • Responsiveness to community needs. Center for Intergenerational Learning, Temple University

  16. More to keep in mind • Does the program address real needs? • Intergenerational contactis not enough. [The “coin of the realm” is to establish meaningful relationships in the lives of the participants.] • Relationships require time and opportunity (for intimate interaction). • There are benefits to thinking about creating “intergenerational settings” (rather than just a patchwork of programs and activities).

  17. Examples of intergenerational programs within and beyond Extension

  18. Shared Site Care Programs: A Call to Build Community • Community members • Community settings • Community services • Community outcomes

  19. Nursing home Assisted living Senior center Adult Day Services Unique settings Tribal community ctrs. Libraries Parks & rec Residential facility Childcare Before/after school care Youth center ARC program Shared Sites and other Respite Programs

  20. Respite Programs Family Friends • Volunteers age 55+ serving families with disabled children. • Trained to provide care • Volunteer receives a small stipend • Initial commitment to weekly visits for 9-12 months • Volunteers play leadership role shaping program • National program based at Temple U.’s Intergenerational Center. • Approximately 35 programs nationwide.

  21. Programs Focused on Immigrants • Project SHINE – naturalization of elderly immigrants • Temple University students complete Service-Learning for course credit • Coach elders in English & citizenship material • Citizen test pass rates 90% on 1st try! • Intergenerational Bridges – after school mentoring to immigrant school children • Part of Maryland’s Interages • Practice English, explore culture, support transition

  22. Elder Volunteer Programs • Foster Grandparents – Elders in varied programs serving children • Experience Corps – Elders support literacy in grades K-3 in 19 cities • Low-income adults 55+ • Specialized training • Weekly commitment for the school year • Small stipend • Friends in School Helping (FISH) • Charlottesville AAA program

  23. The Penn State Intergenerational Program Core Concepts: Intergenerational Interdependence Productive Aging Lifelong Learning Civic Involvement The Penn State Intergenerational Program, rooted in Penn State Cooperative Extension, provides leadership and resource support for organizations interested in developing intergenerational programs and activities that enrich people's lives and help address vital social and community issues. Website: E-Mail:

  24. Kinship Family Retreats • Can be 1-2 days • Provide respite care for relative caregivers • Family time in a stress-free, “normalized” setting • Educational, recreational, and family strengths-enhancing activities

  25. Displaying “family banners” at brunch. • “We have just become a complete family.”

  26. Penn State hosts an online, interactive database of programs and organizations in the state that support kinship care families. Service providers can go online to list their services/ resources. • []

  27. Helping families to communicate about food FRIDGE: A curriculum to make communication about food easier, more fun, and more effective for family members of all ages.

  28. Key characteristics of FRIDGE • Organized in 3 sections: • Enhancing family communication about food. • Learning together about food and nutrition. • Working as a team to improve family eating practices. • Includes fun, hands on activities • Includes methods that stimulate intensive sharing between participants • “Take Out” activities encourage follow-up at home. E.g.— family meetings

  29. The role of FRIDGE facilitators • Active facilitation—to promote frequent and effective communication. • Sensitive to family dynamics. • Discourage criticism of each other’s views. • Encourage youth involvement and empowerment.

  30. Quotes from Participants • “I realized that my daughter and I don’t share the same views on food and we are working on that”– Mother • “ (What I liked most was) coming together as a family and discussing our recipe plans”– 12 year old girl • “This helped families realize how little they knew about each other….They (parents) are assuming that they know what the kids want, and kids are assuming that parents know what they want….”– Program Facilitator

  31. Community Planning & Citizen Participation – The ‘Futures Festival’ Approach –

  32. Intergenerational Activities & the Community -- connecting history and future --

  33. Community Visioning—Lessons Learned— • Make it fun • Make it relevant • Pay attention to process • Emphasize inclusiveness and collaboration • Prepare participants • Prepare facilitators • A focus on the “future” often necessitates attention to the past and the present. [Looking at the past and the present helps to frame the visioning process.]

  34. Generation Station:A strategy for turning a retirement community into an “intergenerational setting”

  35. Generation Station in steps [An “Intergenerational Options Mapping” process] • Identify local children and youth organizations and clubs. • Find where they are located/obtain contact information. • Collect information on program objectives and activities. • Create GIS database on local children/ youth programs. • Establish advisory group to plan new intergenerational initiatives.

  36. What We Learned • Preliminary planning bears fruit later on. • Planning multiple activities and multiple partners contributes to a stronger, more sustainable program. • A diverse program helps to address the diverse needs, interests, abilities, and preferences of a retirement community’s residents.

  37. Weaving an intergenerational framework into existing Extension programs Perry County (PA) 4-H Program

  38. Roles of the Extension Educator • Extension educator as networker (community resource connector). • Extension educator as research team member. • Extension educator as intergenerational program curriculum developer.

  39. Why evaluate? • Inform program development • Identify problems early and fix them • Identify benefits and replicate • Empower members through participatory evaluation • Secure funding • Market a program • Practice, theory, research inform each other

  40. Theory-Practice-Evaluation Feedback Loop Theory Research Practice Evaluation Lavee & Dollahite, 1991

  41. Why don’t groups evaluate IGP? • Lack of • Resources (including funder support) • Experience • Time • Understanding

  42. What else challenges IGP evaluation? • Lack of explicit theories or models • Difficulties measuring participant outcomes • Developmental and disability differences • Inattention to other stakeholders (e.g., staff) • Lack of established measures • Evaluation as an afterthought

  43. Evaluate when? • Begin before you begin! • Formative evaluation • Repeatedly! • Program monitoring & process evaluation • Impact evaluations get results!

  44. Who evaluates? • Internal evaluators • Increases investment • Cost-effective • External evaluators • Greater objectivity • Additional expertise • Combined approach

  45. Resources – Sharing ideas and information • Intergenerational networks • Generations United • ICIP (International Consortium of Intergenerational Programs) • Extension initiatives • “White paper”: • Listserve: • Penn State Newsletter: • Better Kid Care – Online training module for establishing IG programs in early childcare settings (Must register for the BKC training system: • CYFERnet (Children, Youth and Families Education and Research Network)

  46. Discussion, Questions and Answers One question we have for you: In what ways can an intergenerational approach enhance the work you do (or want to do)?

  47. Intergenerational work in your community • Things to keep in mind when planning your own intergenerational programs: • What are the program goals and objectives? • Who are the participants and how will they be recruited? • What are the intergenerational activities/ practices that will be organized? • What other organizations/ agencies/ schools/ institutions/ key people should be involved in the project? • How will the project be funded? • How will the program be evaluated to make sure that objectives are met?