Generations United announced six intergenerational programs have been selected to receive the prestigious Programs of Distinction including Bessie’s Hope in Denver. Other programs are Hebrew SeniorLife (Dedham, Maine), Honolulu Walks, Kenosha RSVP Mentor Program (Kenosha, Wisc.), OASIS Tutoring Program (St. Louis) and ONEGeneration (Van Nuys, Calif.).
“We congratulate these programs for earning this distinction and their dedication to high-quality intergenerational practices,” said Donna Butts, executive director of Generations United. “The Program of Distinction designation is the only U.S. ‘seal of approval’ for intergenerational programs. The application and review process are rigorous. Achieving this recognition is a major accomplishment and says a program employs best practices and effectively engages the young and old while serving the surrounding community.”
Generations United launched the Program of Distinction designation in 2010 to recognize excellence while celebrating the rich diversity among intergenerational programs. An outside panel of experts selects designees based on evidence-based standards for quality programming, such as preparing participants, staff training, partner engagement, and use of evaluation data. Since the inception of the program, 32 intergenerational programs from across the nation have been selected to receive the designation, which is valid for three years.
Bessie’s Hope (bessieshope.org) provides education and training for youth and their leaders/teachers, so as to ensure meaningful interactions with nursing home elders of all levels of cognitive functioning, including those with advanced Alzheimer’s Disease. Within the structured, ongoing visits that are facilitated by Bessie’s Hope, mutually rewarding, life—changing relationships are cultivated between youth of all ages and the nursing home elders.
Intergenerational programs are those which increase cooperation, interaction and exchange between people of different generations, allowing them to share their talents and resources, and support each other in relationships that benefit both the individuals and their community.
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