Golden Age Home receives intergenerational grant
By Nicole Burnett
Special to the LPR
Bringing children and senior adults together is not a new idea for Golden Age Home.
The community has come to expect their annual Easter Egg Hunt on Good Friday and the Trick or Treat on Halloween. More recently GAH has added a summertime Fishing Event by partnering with Parkview Nursing Home. The common goal in all these events is to bridge the generation gap and connect residents of Golden Age Home with the community.
In September, St. David’s Foundation issued its first “Request for Ideas”: ‘Connecting Generations, Strengthening Communities’, geared toward organizations interested in implementing intergenerational programs in Central Texas that engage older adults to come together with younger generations to share skills, needs, and experiences with each other while also addressing critical community issues.
“We believe magic can happen with intergenerational work where there is dual reciprocity between older and younger generations: everybody wins,” said St. David’s Foundation Senior Program Officer Andrew Levack.
A total of 59 ideas were submitted from groups across Central Texas, and of those, 13 were ultimately chosen to receive grants. Golden Age Home was among the elite 13 organizations who received funding for their proposals.
“St. David’s Foundation’s ‘Connecting Generations, Strengthening Communities’ grant request was a natural fit for Golden Age Home since many of our activities already fit into this intergenerational type of programming,” said Golden Age Home Executive Director Nicole Burnett. “We are always looking for ways to support our residents to stay actively involved with the community and especially with children.”
Golden Age Home’s grant will focus on programs to reduce social isolation in older adults while improving education outcomes for children and youth. This includes both bringing children’s programs into the facility as well as providing opportunities for our senior adults to go out and participate in programs with children.
Studies show that older adults who regularly volunteer with children stay more active both physically and mentally. Furthermore, children involved with older adults often have higher self-esteem, better emotional and social skills and may even have better grades in school.
Golden Age Home began immediately implementing their ideas. In January, a Preschool Music Together Class began meeting on Thursday mornings at the facility. Residents also attended the Addams Family musical put on by LISD theatre department. In February, residents started as mentors for the Reading Mentor program at Plum Creek Elementary school.
“The funding provided by St. David’s Foundation allows Golden Age Home to put feet to many different ideas as well as enhance the events the community has grown to love,” said Alessandra Miller, activity coordinator at Golden Age Homes.
St. David’s Foundation expects that these grants are just the start of an intergenerational movement happening in Central Texas, which is positioned to impact community change. Through the critical work of our grantees, we aim to improve the lives of older adults, children, and their families, ultimately strengthening the bonds within our communities.
For a full listing of the 13 organizations and projects funded, visit https://stdavidsfoundation.org/2020/02/26/announcing-our-intergenerational-grants-connecting-generations-with-creativity-and-innovation/. More information on Golden Age Home’s individual projects will be featured in upcoming news articles.