Intergenerational Partnership with Grandparents and Older Care Givers (IPGOC)
With the rise in incarceration, drug abuse, and HIV/AIDS in the communities we serve, many grandparents are finding themselves raising their grandchildren. In addition, it has been documented that when those who are in the sunset years of life and those who are in their youthful years are linked together, there are tremendous benefits which accrue to both groups. In this program, older adults have the opportunity to make a meaningful and structured contribution to young members of the community. They feel invigorated, useful, and valued when given the opportunity to share their skills and their life experiences with others. The children in the program see older adults make a positive contribution to their daily life and begin to value them as productive members of society and not as appendages or burdens. As an added bonus, the engaged youth, while learning valuable skill sets (i.e. pottery making, crocheting and photography, etc.) gain an appreciation for their elders and their contributions to the world in which we live.
Plan: The active participation of these caregivers in the life of the Center is sought. The Center recruits grandparents of enrolled children as well as older adults from senior citizen programs and churches. Participants volunteer for the number of hours they can provide. The time spent at the Center will be utilized in the classroom assisting the teaching staff, as well as other areas of the center, i.e. kitchen, playground. In addition to other programs held during Puerto Rican and African American History Month and holiday celebrations such as Kwaanza, an Annual Grand Parent Day is held to which all grandparents, who may not be involved in the intergenerational initiative as well as enlisted senior citizen groups are invited.