Recently, someone asked what were the key achievements of Bridges Together in the past year (which was also our first year). This was our response:
- 620 children and their families, 150 volunteers, plus teachers and program directors participated in the “Bridges: Growing Older, Growing Together” program in 24 classrooms and one afterschool program in five Massachusetts school systems. Next year (2013-14), in addition to those considering the program, three more school systems are committed to running our programs, one of which is in Michigan.
- The College of the Holy Cross began researching how the Bridges program affects children’s attitudes about older adults.
- We piloted a new program, “Gardner’s Garden” with approximately 40 children, 20 volunteers, plus a teacher and programs director in two school systems.
- In 2013, Andrea Weaver, our Executive Director, presented on intergenerational programs at the Massachusetts Council on Aging conference and the American Society on Aging national conference in Chicago as well as led four regional workshops for senior center staff.
- Also in 2013, Andrea received two distinguished awards: “Crusader of the Year” award from the Holy Cross Club of Greater Boston, and Wheelock College’s “125 Outstanding Alumni Improving the Lives of Children and Their Families”
- In April 2013, we held our first benefit, “Spring into Summer,” an intergenerational fashion show featuring more than 70 models including participants from our programs, board members and their families. We were over-sold, and netted approximately $6,000.
- We benefited from the engagement of more than 100 volunteers over the year who shared their time and talents to help grow the organization.
- More than 600 individuals have expressed interest in Bridges Together and are now receiving our e-newsetters.
- We convened a Strategic Advisory Council made up of national leaders to help us refine our business plan and move it towards a strategic plan that will allow the organization to grow and become self-sustaining with an appropriate full and part-time staff.
What a first year.. what a journey! We’d like to hear from you… how have our programs and efforts impacted you? How would you like to be involved in the next year of our growth? Email Andrea at Andrea@BridgesTogether.org.