Programs that increase cooperation, interaction or exchange between people of different generations dispelling stereotypes about old and young, and enabling individuals, families and communities to enjoy and benefit from the richness of an age-integrated society. Intergenerational programs are structured so that both age groups benefit from the interaction, but in many programs, one age group is the provider of service while the other is the recipient. Older people may mentor children or adolescents and serve as role models for young people who are preparing for adulthood, while students who understand the latest technology may teach older adults computer skills in their homes, senior centres or long term care settings. Older adults gain opportunities to develop meaningful contact with younger people and stay in touch with their communities while children and youth develop healthy attitudes about aging, gain an appreciation for rich cultural traditions and histories, and experience the satisfaction of sharing something they know. In many communities, young and old are working together as partners on community projects, and are finding that the collaboration leads to mutual appreciation while their communities reap the benefits of their work.
Programs that provide regularly scheduled opportunities for parents to participate in a wide variety of recreational, arts and cultural activities with their youngsters. The experience provides a means for developing close family relationships at a stage in the child's life when quality time with their mother or father is essential for healthy development, and exposure to music, storytelling and similar pastimes can stir a child's imagination and spark their creativity. Other programs may focus on reading, games and early learning activities.
Programs that provide organized opportunities for individuals of all ages to meet and socialize with their peers through dances, parties, picnics, barbecues and other companionable activities. Included are men's clubs; women's clubs; singles clubs; clubs for individuals who have a common ethnic background, religion or country of origin; and similar groups whose primary purpose in gathering is to pass the time in an enjoyable manner.
Programs that provide organized opportunities for individuals of all ages to pursue hobbies or other specific interests in cooperation with others who have the same interest, often through the medium of a club or society which is under the leadership of people who are knowledgeable or skilled in the area.
Programs that provide opportunities for children and youth to participate in a wide range of recreational, cultural, social and civic activities through membership in clubs, scout troops and other youth groups whose purpose is to help youngsters develop their potential and grow into healthy, educated, responsible and productive adults.
The above terms and definitions are part of the Taxonomy of Human Services, used here by permission of INFO LINE of Los Angeles.