Innovation on the Ground

Communities and organizations across the country are stepping up to mobilize Americans over 50 in efforts to support children and youth.

Beginning with four communities and five organizations collaborating in a Learning Lab, new approaches are being tested for efficiently and effectively deploying experienced talent in 15 states. Drawing on national expertise and innovations, the Learning Lab uses a structured, collaborative approach to generate best practices and scalable models that can be adopted by others, extending the Generation to Generation vision across the nation.

The Learning Lab network regularly shares the status of their work, identifying successes, challenges and progress in the field. Follow the blog here.

Innovation Spotlight: Organizations

Alliance for Strong Families and Communities

The Alliance for Strong Families and Communities has launched Second Acts for Strong Communities, an initiative to help its network of human-serving organizations leverage the time and expertise of older adults looking to embark on encore careers that positively impact their communities. The Alliance is supporting 10 demonstration sites in testing, improving, and scaling human capital models to fully engage older adults in their organizations and communities — effectively changing the current narrative around aging in America.

Pilot Sites:
Alpert Jewish Family & Children’s Service, West Palm Beach, Florida; Ascentria Care Alliance, Worcester, Massachusetts; Child & Family Service, Ewa Beach, Hawaii; Family Foundations, Jacksonville, Florida; Grace Hill Settlement House, St. Louis; Jewish Family and Children’s Service, Phoenix; Lad Lake, Milwaukee; OhioGuidestone, Berea, Ohio; Rockford Housing Authority, Rockford, Illinois; United Neighborhood Houses of New York, New York

First 5 Santa Clara

FIRST 5 Santa Clara County (FIRST 5) is local public agency responsible for upholding the passage of Proposition 10, the Children and Families First Act, in 1998, which imposed a $.50 tax on tobacco products. To effectively meet the needs of families with children, prenatal through age 5, FIRST 5’s strategic framework focuses on seven priority areas and goals; Children’s Health, Family Support, Community and Family Engagement, Workforce Development, Systems Change, High Quality Early Care and Education, and Communications and Public Awareness. FIRST 5 will design and implement a scalable volunteer engagement model, for older adults, to support 6 Family Resource Centers across Santa Clara County.


Jumpstart — a national nonprofit focused on early childhood and school readiness — recruits, trains, and supports college- and encore-age volunteers to help preschoolers build language, literacy and social-emotional skills. Jumpstart is joining the learning lab network to explore ways to adapt its model to incorporate a more robust Encore human capital strategy.

Metropolitan Family Service (MFS)

Metropolitan Family Service (MFS), a nonprofit organization that helps people move beyond the limitations of poverty, inequity, and social isolation, is working to strengthen, expand and scale its AARP Experience Corps program, a highly effective intervention where volunteers age 50+ engage elementary students in order to close the literacy achievement gap.

Pilot Sites:
Lot Whitcomb Elementary School, Lynch Meadows Elementary School, Davis Elementary School, Alder Elementary School, Hall Elementary School, James John Elementary School, Woodlawn Elementary School, Sacramento Elementary School, Prescott Elementary School, Mill Park Elementary School


Playworks, a national nonprofit that promotes social-emotional learning and physical health through safe and inclusive play, is studying the impact of mobilizing 50+ individuals, towards achieving the Playworks AIM of reaching 3.5 million students by 2020.

Pilot Sites:
Arizona‚ Massachusetts‚ Southern California

Curious about how your organization or community can be a Generation to Generation innovator?

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