The City of Miramar is a leader in intergenerational programming, as we not only plan intergenerational activities but have actually combined Senior Services and Early Childhood Services into one department, so as to truly serve the entire lifecycle and to blend common experiences whenever possible.
“Peacock Award” 2012 recipient presented by the Broward League of Cities for the Early Childhood Program building beautification project "bloom where you are planted" at Sunset Lakes Child Care Center.
“Community Spirit Award” 2011 recipient presented by the Broward League of Cities for Social Services Senior Program and Early Childhood Program Intergenerational Activities.
For the Community
- Strengthens Community: Intergenerational programs bring together diverse groups and networks and help to dispel inaccurate stereotypes. Sharing talents and resources help to create a unified group identity. Children, youth, and older adults are less alienated while the community recognizes that they are contributing members of society.
- Maximizes Human Resources: Intergenerational community service programs tend to multiply human resources by engaging older adults and youth as volunteers.
- Maximizes Financial Resources: When groups representing young and old approach local funders, those funders are more likely to respond positively because they can see broad-based community support. Intergenerational programs can save money and stretch scarce resources by sharing sites and/or resources.
- Expands Services: Intergenerational community service programs can expand the level of services to meet more needs and address more issues. Encourages Cultural Exchange: Intergenerational programs promote the transmission of cultural traditions and values from older to younger generations, helping to build a sense of personal and societal identity while encouraging tolerance.
- Inspires Collaboration: Intergenerational programs can unite community members to take action on public policy issues that address human needs across the generations.
For Youth and Children
- Enhances Social Skills: Interaction with older adults enhances communication skills, promotes self-esteem, develops problem-solving abilities, and fosters friendships across generations. Positive attitudes are developed regarding sense of purpose and community service. Additionally, youth involved in mentoring programs have been show to be almost one-third less likely to hit others.
- Improves Academic Performance: Intergenerational programs increase school attendance and performance. Students tutored by older adults made significantly greater gains in achievement test scores than other students.
- Decreases Drug Use: Youth involved in intergenerational mentoring programs are 46% less likely to report the initiation of drug use, and among minority youth that statistic increased to 70%.
- Increases Stability: Children and youth gain positive role models with whom they can interact on a regular basis. Older adult volunteers help to provide children and youth with consistency through mentoring and in child care facilities that average a 25-35% turnover rate.
For Older Adults
- Enhances Socialization: Older adults remain productive, useful, and contributing members of society. They increase interaction with children and youth and engage more with one another to prevent isolation in later years.
- Stimulates Learning: Older adults learn new innovations and technologies from their younger counterparts.
- Increases Emotional Support: Intergenerational programs afford older adults an opportunity to participate in a meaningful activity. This decreases loneliness, boredom, and depression while increasing self-esteem. Older volunteers report more enriched lives, a rejuvenated sense of purpose, and increased coping skills for their personal struggles.
- Improves Health: Helping contributes to the maintenance of good health, and can diminish the effect of psychological and physical diseases and disorders.
*information adapted from the EPA-Aging Initiative program