Creative Aging Directory - Oasis

Program Title
Generations for a Healthy Community
Program Summary

Generations for a Healthy Community unites adults over the age of 50 with students in grades four through six, helping them become champions for healthy communities through a civic engagement program designed to reduce isolation and bring the generations together through the arts and civic education.

Adults and youth work together to identify community strengths and weaknesses related to their opportunities to eat fruits and vegetables and get physical activity. Weekly, hour-long sessions that include digital photography and map-making help young people learn citizenship and respect for diverse opinions. In the second half of the program, youth-adult teams practice public speaking so that they can make their voices heard by local leaders. All program workshops are led by a specially trained professional educator or artist.

Generations for a Healthy Community is sponsored by the Oasis Institute, which strives to give adults over the age of 50 across the country opportunities to pursue vibrant, healthy, productive, and meaningful lives. The organization seeks to positively impact their lives through partnerships to share knowledge, offer evidence- and research-based programs, conduct evaluations, and adapt to meet the needs of diverse audiences.

Program Background and History

The Oasis Institute is a non-profit organization whose mission is to promote successful aging through a three-fold approach: lifelong learning, healthy living, and social engagement. Founded in 1982 and based in St. Louis, Oasis is now active in 40 cities across 24 states and serves more than 56,000 individuals each year. It has a network of over 700 organizations that include health providers, corporations, senior centers, community organizations, libraries, universities and colleges, senior living organizations, and more. The Oasis Institute serves as the national headquarters and manages staff who provide Oasis programs in the St. Louis metro area. The institute also develops national programs and provides training and support for Oasis education centers and partners. Oasis education centers are located in community sites.

Program-Specific Research and Key Findings

In the pilot project, youth identified the assets and barriers that they face while trying to lead healthy lives in their school and neighborhood. They took photos, made maps, thought critically about the media, and completed other environmental audits to create community portraits. Students especially enjoyed taking pictures and discussing in small groups the images they captured. Visit this website for more research. 

Program-Specific Assessment and Evaluation

This program is evaluated through the use of surveys, focus groups, and interviews.  

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Kinds of Creative Engagement/Program Focus
Creation of Original Work, Participate in a Class, Participate in a Workshop
Kinds of Creative Engagement/Program Focus Other
Interdisciplinary Connections
Civic Engagement, Ecology / Gardening / Natural Environments, Education
Creative engagement
Target Audience
Active Adults, Intergenerational
Adaptive Program Design
Adaptive Program Design Other
Program Setting
Education (e.g. School / University)
Program Service Area / Geography
Rural, Suburban, Urban
Program Service Area / Geography Other

Jennings, Eastern Missouri