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Janet Sevier Gilbreath Award 2000

Forever Friends Intergenerational Center , United Methodist Homes, Topeka

2000 Winner
Janet Sevier Gilbreath Special Project Recognition Award

Intergenerational activities distinguish the Forever Friends childcare center on the campus of United Methodist Homes in Topeka. Founded on the philosophy that the old and the young have much to share with each other, Forever Friends brings children in day care and the senior residents of United Methodist Homes together for regularly scheduled activities each week.

L-R: Betty Edson, Dusty Viles, and Angela Stous receive the 2000 Janet Sevier Gilbreath Award from Randy Peterson, UMHMF Board Chair
L-R: Betty Edson, Dusty Viles, and Angela Stous receive the 2000 Janet Sevier Gilbreath Award from Randy Peterson, Health Fund Board Chair

This intergenerational foundation of the program was supported by two grants from the United Methodist Health Ministry Fund totaling $88,540. These grants started in 1994 and ended in 2000. Through this funding, Forever Friends was able to add a staff position that coordinates the intergenerational component of the child care center and implement a computer learning program in which children and seniors learn to use this modern technology together.

The success of the childcare center is reflected in full enrollment of more than seventy-five children at any one time and glowing reports from parents. It may also be seen on the faces of senior citizens as they work, learn, and play with their young friends. At least thirty retirement home residents regularly volunteer to work at the center.

Today, the program is a model for intergenerational programming. The director frequently gives tours and encourages others to develop opportunities to bring old and young together in our society.

Forever Friends Intergenerational Child Care Center is an integral part of United Methodist Homes. It demonstrates excellent management, achievement of goals, and involvement of volunteers. It truly represents a vision of the Christian health community.

Representing Forever Friends Intergenerational Center: Jan Jenkins, Administrator; Angela Stous, Director; Dusty Viles, Intergenerational Coordinator; Verlee Sanneman, Communications Specialist; Betty J. Edson, Director of Marketing & Development; Alfred R. Goodwin, Member--Board of Trustees; and Cathryn Flatten, Resident.

Awarded May 15, 2001

Learn more about the Janet Sevier Gilbreath award