Generation Xchange seeks to improve academic and behavioral outcomes for children in K-3 in South LA (where educational achievement is notoriously poor) while simultaneously offering 'health promotion' for the growing population of older adults in the local community (an area of high risk for chronic disease and disability) by engaging them in a program with social, cognitive and physical activity (all known predictors of health and well-being).
This is a partnership between the UCLA Department of Medicine, Divisions of Geriatrics and General Internal Medicine; the Los Angeles Urban League and principals from several LA Unified School District elementary schools. Our partnership is focused on implementation of our Generation Xchange (Gen X) Program in LAUSD elementary schools with the goal of improving academic and behavioral outcomes for children in grades K-3 and improving health and well-being for the older adults who work with the children through participation in the GenX Program. GenX represents a partnership between the UCLA Department of Medicine, Divisions of Geriatrics and General Internal Medicine; the Los Angeles Urban League and principals from several LA Unified School District elementary schools. Through this partnership, we are focused on implementation of the inter-generational GenX program in LAUSD elementary schools. The GenX program is designed to enhance the academic and behavioral outcomes for elementary school children at risk for poor academic achievement while simultaneously enhancing the health and well-being of older adult volunteers who work with them.
The LA Generation Xchange (GenX) Project places older volunteers into K-3rd grade elementary school classrooms to help students improve reading and math skills. GenX is designed as a truly inter-generational program, providing benefits to each generation involved in the program. For the older adults, GenX addresses health promotion by appealing to their interest in helping young children to draw them into a program that is structured to provide health promotion through the social, physical and cognitive activities that are integral to the participation in GenX. For the children, GenX seeks to improve academic and behavioral outcomes, with particular attention to support for reading proficiency as successful educational trajectories have been shown to depend on learning to read by 3rd grade (e.g., children who fail to achieve such proficiency are significantly more likely to drop out before high school graduation). Through its intergenerational design, GenX seeks to create a “win-win” situation whereby older adults “win” health benefits through participation in the program that creates academic and behavioral “wins” for K-3rd graders.
The GenX program is entering its 2nd full year of operation. In that time the program has witnessed the following results: