Virginia Tech’s Neighbors Growing Together has been cited for a second time as a Program of Distinction by the national coalition Generations United.

The Program of Distinction recognizes best practices and service to the intergenerational community. Virginia Tech was first honored in 2012 and is one of nine organizations cited in 2015. The designation is effective for three years.

“Re-designation as a Program of Distinction reaffirms the mission of Neighbors Growing Together,” said Associate Professor Shannon E. Jarrott, director of Intergenerational Programs and director of research for Virginia Tech Adult Day Services. “It helps us market our program and gives us the opportunity to share our experiences with other programs that bring young and old together.”

Neighbors Growing Together grew out of the Department of Human Development's Adult Day Services and Child Development Center for Learning and Research at Virginia Tech. Working with preschoolers and senior citizens, undergraduate and graduate students are cross-trained in childcare and gerontology issues.

While preparing professionals to work with children and older adults, the program provides high-quality services to children, older adults, and their families. An integral focus of the program is on increasing and improving relationships between young and old, and building community connections.

Besides being twice recognized by Generations United, Neighbors Growing Together has received Virginia Tech’s Alumni Award for Outreach Excellence and the Southern Gerontological Society’s Best Practices award.

Donna Butts, executive director of Washington, D.C.-based Generations United, congratulated Virginia Tech on its latest honor and said, “The Program of Distinction designation is the U.S. ‘seal of approval’ for intergenerational programs. Achieving this recognition is a major accomplishment and says a program employs best practices and effectively serves the surrounding community.”

Founded in 1986, Generations United is a coalition of more than 100 national organizations promoting intergenerational public policies, programs, and strategies.  Among participating agencies are the National Council on Aging, the Child Welfare League of America, AARP, and the Children’s Defense Fund.

The Program of Distinction was launched in 2010 to recognize excellence while celebrating diversity among intergenerational programs.



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