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Winchester: From Programs to an Age-Integrated Community

I'm so excited! Today is the day.... After a year of planning, I am leading my first intergenerational / multigenerational training in Winchester!

Last fall, Phillip Beltz reached out to me as Director of The Jenks in Winchester, MA. The Jenks is a state-of-the-art hub for older adults in a community that is designated as Age-Friendly. Phillip and his team, especially Nancy Polcari, wanted to expand outreach - especially to young people. Knowing of my proven track-record as an Intergenerational (IG) Specialist, Phillip came to me. He asked me to coach them on the best practices of intergenerational engagement and journey with them, so it would be easier and more enjoyable. Phillip brilliantly envisioned a three-year commitment for us which will allow us to move from individual IG programs to a truly age-integrated community - one that instinctively reaches out to invite other generations to the "table".

Over the past year, Phillip and I collaborated on securing a grant, hiring a colleague to serve as Project Manager (Hello Susan Rozmanith!) and inviting different community members to join us. We have more than 30 people signed-up for this journey!

Of course, when we began planning, we had no idea that COVID would hit and face-to-face engagement (the hallmark of my work) would need to be re-envisioned. This means that once again, I get to put on my thinking cap, take all that I know, learn from my colleagues and come up with new ways to help end loneliness and build a truly age-integrated community. Stay tuned as I share the journey! Watch as friendships and partnerships are cultivated across the generations in Winchester - transforming lives for today and tomorrow!

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