Generations for a Healthy Community

Organization Associated with Program
7053 Emma Ave
Jennings, Missouri 63136

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 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 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 Assessments and Evaluations

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

Kinds of creative engagement/ program focus Creation of Original Work, Participate in a Class, Participate in a Workshop
Arts Discipline: Folk/Traditional Arts, Visual Arts
Interdisciplinary Connections: Civic Engagement, Ecology / Gardening / Natural Environments, Education
Target Audience: Active Adults, Intergenerational
Program Setting: Education (e.g. School / University)
Program Service Area: Rural, Suburban, Urban
Type of Practice: Field Tested Best Practice