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NEWSLETTER

Stay informed, inspired, and connected with our community. Our newsletters are your source for the latest updates, stories, and insights on creating meaningful intergenerational connections.

SEPTEMBER NEWSLETTER

Dear Friends of LinkAGES,

 

As the leaves begin to change and the air carries a crisp hint of autumn, we find ourselves at the threshold of a new season filled with exciting possibilities. Fall is arriving, and with it comes a host of opportunities to connect, learn, and grow together. At LinkAGES Connects, this season holds particular significance, as I have some exciting developments to share.

 

I am thrilled to announce the long-awaited release of our programmatic Toolkits! These comprehensive guides are meticulously designed to take facilitators on a step-by-step journey through the adaptation and adoption of best-in-class intergenerational programs. Whether you're a seasoned professional or a newcomer to the world of intergenerational programming, these Toolkits will equip you with the knowledge and tools to create transformative experiences for your community.

 

I am even more excited to announce that LinkAGES Connects has been awarded a grant from CommonSpirit/Centura through the Health Equity and Advancement Fund! 🎉 Grants and donations are the lifeblood of nonprofit organizations, providing the financial resources necessary to bring their vital missions to fruition. This grant will play a crucial role in advancing our mission of fostering social connections and reducing social isolation across generations. Specifically we will be expanding our programming with youth and older adults who identify as LGBTQIA+ through LinkAGES’ Collective Healing Through Art Program. 

 

Can you all believe we have another Collaborative Network meeting coming up already? Be sure to mark your calendars for our upcoming meeting, scheduled for October 26th from 11am-12:30pm MST. This meeting promises to be a rich source of insights, as we delve into the intricacies of program design and hear presentations from several different program facilitators. Don't miss this opportunity to connect with like-minded individuals, share ideas, and further enhance your expertise in the world of intergenerational programming.

 

Lastly, I extend my heartfelt gratitude to each of you for your unwavering support of LinkAGES Connects. Your enthusiasm and commitment to our cause have played a pivotal role in our growth, and we're deeply appreciative. Thank you for not only supporting us but also for sharing our mission with your networks, helping us spread the message of intergenerational connection far and wide.

 

Take care,

Rachel B. Cohen

Executive Director

EVENTS

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LinkAGES Connects: Collaborative Network for Intergenerational Connection

 

  • Please RSVP via Calendly (ASL and Spanish interpretation provided)

  • Topics: October 26, 2023 (Program Design); January 25, 2024 (Collaboration); April 25, 2024 (Measuring Impact)

Intergenerational programs reduce the social isolation and loneliness experienced by youth and older adults. They also decrease ageism and make communities healthier and more vibrant for all who live there. Younger program participants experience increased empathy, self-confidence, and self-esteem as well as improved academic growth and a sense of belonging. Older participants experience improved health, well-being, and cognitive function as well as enhanced quality of life and a greater sense of purpose. Still, facilitating and sustaining intergenerational programs is challenging. In the first four quarterly meetings of the LinkAGES Collaborative Network, we will be exploring solutions to each of these barriers and walking away with actionable insights. We hope to see you there! 

 

Who should attend: Youth-focused organizations, older adult and aging-focused entities, parks and recreation, museums and cultural institutions, public health organizations, housing providers, schools, intergenerational program managers and facilitators, anyone interested in learning more about intergenerational connections. 

GET TO KNOW LINKAGES CONNECTS

Staff Highlight: Rachel B. Cohen, MSW, MUP (she/her)

Executive Director, Facilitator, Connector, Fundraiser, Capacity Builder

 

Growing up my maternal grandparents played a central role in my life contributing to my seeing the world through an intergenerational lens. In graduate school I volunteered at a community garden; gardeners ages 4 to 94, taught and learned alongside one another. I saw friendships form across generations, meals made from the harvest incorporating family traditions, and stories of childhood and adulthood shared. I saw how the simplicity of planting a seed, led to connection, bringing isolated graduate students and older adults together. I felt the reknitting of the social fabric. 

 

My curiosity about the world led me to seek a deeper understanding of community from many perspectives including social services, housing, health 

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care, conservation, food systems and most importantly through the stories of people of all ages. I see the world differently than most; instead of silos I see multi-colored threads woven together into a tapestry we call community. They can be based on geography, culture, identity and more, each is special in its own way, yet intertwined with the other. My background in social work and neighborhood planning with a specialization in aging reinforces this lens of people and place. I am committed to increasing impact and ensuring that communities are supportive, engaging and equitable places to grow up and grow older. Intergenerational connections are the threads that bind them together. That garden set me on a path to today where I am the Architect and Executive Director of LinkAGES, a nonprofit dedicated to addressing social isolation, loneliness and ageism through creating meaningful intergenerational connections AND Founder and CEO of Aging Dynamics consulting firm where I work with multi-sector entities creating age-friendly communities through strategic planning, community engagement and capacity building. The purposes of both organizations are deeply intertwined and collectively work towards a world that is inclusive, accessible and supportive of all. 

 

When asked who I am I describe myself as a bridge builder and interpreter.I love bringing people and organizations together to build capacity to partner across sectors, ensure inclusion and accessibility, and leverage funding, and community connections.

FUNDING

LinkAGES Connects Awarded CommonSpirit/Centura Grant

We are thrilled to announce that LinkAGES has been selected as one of the recipients of the Health Equity & Advancement Fund, courtesy of the CommonSpirit Health Colorado/Kansas/Utah Division! This incredible program, established in 2021, is dedicated to supporting organizations like ours that work to address the needs of our communities. With a total fund of $5 million, and having already awarded over $11 million to date, the Health Equity & Advancement Fund focuses on crucial areas such as mental health, food security, and social justice and health equity.

 

This recognition underscores the significance of the work we do at LinkAGES Connects and reaffirms our commitment to making a meaningful impact on the well-being of our community through intergenerational connections. We are honored to stand alongside 48 other remarkable organizations as we collectively strive for a healthier future.

 

We will be utilizing this grant to expand the LinkAGES’ Collective Healing Through Art program within the LGBTQIA+ community. This grant will allow us to offer more programming,  increasing numbers and locations of participants through in person and online programming. Based on feedback from previous participants we are also using this grant to offer extended programming in between the 8-week sessions,  fostering stronger social bonds among participants. Additionally, we will focus on enhancing the training of facilitators in trauma-informed practices and cultural competency and creating more educational resources. This will further strengthen the field of health equity by providing capacity-building resources. 

 

Lastly, we are committed to diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility (DEIA) by providing American Sign Language (ASL) and Spanish interpretation for webinars, translating materials into Spanish, and offering stipends to participants, ensuring our programming is more inclusive and accessible to all.

 

We extend our deepest gratitude to the CommonSpirit/Centura Health Colorado/Kansas/Utah Division for this incredible opportunity, and we look forward to sharing the positive outcomes of this grant with all of you.

 

Read more about the Centura Grant and its recipients here.

RESOURCES

We Are Unveiling Something Special..

 

It’s officially time to share a sneak peek of something special coming your way! In collaboration with our partners, we have been hard at work creating Intergenerational Programming Toolkits designed to empower facilitators in running enriching intergenerational programs within their communities.

 

Our toolkits will be your go-to resource, offering valuable insights into recruiting both youth and older adults, providing facilitation tips, guidance on program evaluation, and even a comprehensive list of materials and activities. Plus, we're including sample schedules, handy evaluation tools, and video how-to guides to make your experience seamless.

 

Keep an eye out on our website as we unveil our Art Toolkit, Music Toolkit, and Photo Toolkit—each tailored to inspire and foster meaningful connections between generations through creative expression.

 

We can't wait to share these resources with you, so you can embark on an intergenerational journey filled with art, music, and photography. 

Resources

PROGRAM HIGHLIGHTS

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Connecting Generations through Storytelling with StoryCenter and the Denver Public Library

 

“Queerness is a really big part of my life. But it is not the only thing about me. And it'd be cool if someday it didn't have to be as big of a part of my life. Even though I love it, and I embrace it, and it's a big deal to me now. It'd be really cool if someday, people could just to be clear, and it was like, not a topic of discussion, you know, at all,” Unboxed Participant, Violet.

 

Unboxed, an intergenerational storytelling program for LGBTQIA+ individuals, has fostered a safe and authentic space for sharing

transformative personal stories of identity. Facilitated by StoryCenter in collaboration with LinkAGES Connects and the Denver Public Library, Unboxed brought together LGBTQIA+ young people and older adults in storytelling workshop series throughout 2022 and 2023. Participants, ranging in age from 13 to late 70s, created mixed-media digital stories that explored their unique journeys of self-discovery. What set Unboxed apart was its commitment to inclusivity, with all facilitators, support staff, and participants hailing from the LGBTQIA+ community. The program not only allowed individuals to create in a safe environment but also encouraged them to share their stories authentically, fostering a profound sense of belonging.

 

Storytelling played a central role in Unboxed, acting as the bridge between generations and highlighting the importance of preserving LGBTQIA+ histories and experiences. Participants, many of whom identified as artists and writers, shared their stories in intimate gatherings, ranging from deeply personal narratives to historical accounts of LGBTQIA+ rights struggles. The program not only offered a platform for self-expression but also facilitated meaningful connections across generations, allowing younger participants to learn from the wisdom of their elders and vice versa. Unboxed emerged as a beacon of hope, combating social disconnection and loneliness, particularly prevalent among LGBTQIA+ youth and older adults, and emphasizing the importance of sharing and preserving LGBTQIA+ stories for future generations.

 

Read the full article here.

Intergenerational Choir Song Share

The All Seasons Choir isn’t just any choir; it is a group of younger and older adults who all share a love of music and singing. The All Seasons Choir learned new and familiar songs in a fun and welcoming environment for twelve weeks. The rehearsals were so much more than singing.  This thoughtfully designed intergenerational program also gathered members to break bread and share conversation, creating opportunities for meaningful intergenerational connections. The Instructor, Roy Willey is the Founder and Creative Director of Voice Circle Colorado, a community based on the premise that singing is everyone's birthright. As a musician, teacher, and song leader,

Roy's goal is to guide singers of all levels past self-judgment and fear to help them connect with their inner music.

 

This program was created and facilitated in collaboration between the Denver Public Library and Swallow Hill Music. LinkAGES is pleased to have supported this intergenerational choir through our grantmaking.


 

If you would like to see more videos like this and learn more about other intergenerational programs, subscribe to our YouTube Channel here!

 

If you've previously subscribed to our YouTube channel, please note that we now have a new YouTube channel. Be sure to subscribe again to stay updated with our latest content!

Donate to LinkAGES Connects

By donating to  LinkAGES Connects, you heal youth, older adults, communities, and the world. LinkAGES builds organizational capacity and strengthens the fields of youth development, aging, and intergenerational connections. 

Donations are tax-deductible. All donations are routed through our fiscal sponsor, Trailhead Institute.

CHECK:

Make a check out to The LinkAGES Fund and mail it to:

Trailhead Institute

 1999 Broadway, Suite 600,

Denver, CO 80202

CREDIT CARD:

Click the donate button below! Please note you will be redirected to the LinkAGES Campaign through Colorado Gives. 

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