The Gen2Gen campaign concluded in 2020, but we are continuing the work to elevate innovators and ideas that bridge generational divides. Visit for updates.


More than 200 people of all ages applied to the Gen2Gen Summer Fun(d) in June with a wealth of scrappy, creative and fun ideas to bring the generations together. Congratulations to the 20 applicants below (listed alphabetically by state) — all Gen2Gen champions who are living Gen2Gen this summer! Each received up to $250 to bring an idea to life.

Thanks to the National Summer Learning Association, our 2018 Gen2Gen Summer Fun(d) partner, all the applicants for their great ideas, and all Gen2Gen partner organizations that helped to spread the word about this program.

Portraits of the Past and Future
Submitted by Nancy Sandy from Kingman, Arizona
Kingman Center for the Arts
A local artist will engage participants from Mikid, a nonprofit that works with low-income youth, and residents of nearby senior centers to create portraits of each other and foster deeper intergenerational understanding.
* Gen2Gen partners: Corporation for National & Community Service, National Senior Corps Association

Passing Along Cultural Roots
Submitted by Alejandra Arreola from Gilroy, California
First 5 / Rebekah Children’s Services
Three generations of predominantly Latino and Mexican-American families will gather for three hours of fun and educational art activities, great traditional food, and quality time to share stories and their cultural roots as a community.
* Gen2Gen partner: First 5 Santa Clara

Conversation Starters
Submitted by Moon Ashby from San Jose, California
PARTI Program
“To show our city that young people do value the help and support that elderly people can share,” a group of 20-somethings will challenge 50 young people to start a conversation with an older adult, document the older person’s story with words and photos, and then join forces on a service project.
* Gen2Gen partner: City of San Jose

Summer Art Mural Project
Submitted by Andrea Tolaio from Santa Cruz, California
Boys & Girls Club of Santa Cruz County
Two local artists and volunteers 50+ from the Silver Dolphins swim club will offer 60 youth from the local Boys & Girls Club the chance to participate in interactive summer art classes that explore project design and large-scale art installations. The public will be invited to an unveiling of the mural they create.
* Gen2Gen partner: Boys & Girls Clubs of America

Ukulele Lessons
Submitted by Nancy Wood from Fairplay, Colorado
Park County Public Library
The Park County Public Library will bring together children from Boys & Girls Club of South Park and older adults from the Park County Senior Coalition to learn to play the ukulele together. The lessons are designed to create intergenerational connections, fond memories and a sense of confidence about learning to play a musical instrument.
* Gen2Gen partner: Boys & Girls Clubs of America

Exploring Underutilized Parks
Submitted by Colby Takeda from Mililani, Hawaii
Older and younger generations will take photos and create artwork for display at public libraries to rally community members and local legislators around their ideas to create more age-friendly public spaces in Honolulu. A report will be generated for city council members.
* Gen2Gen partner: Generations United

Intergenerational Game Night
Submitted by Chez Smith, Chicago, Illinois
Gyrls in the H.O.O.D. Foundation
Younger and older people will gather for an intergenerational game night to get to know one another, build mutually beneficial relationships, bridge generational divides, and have fun!

Cargo Circles
Submitted by Pamela Mahn from Oak Park, Illinois
Cargo circles are based on the idea that everyone has a unique gift (cargo) to be shared. Younger and older people from Oak Park and River Forest will meet in cargo circles over a six-week period to explore, discover and share their unique gifts with one another. The goal: reduced conflict and greater understanding across generations.

Joy of Reading Bookmobile
Submitted by Jeanne Nemitz from Fort Dodge, Iowa
City of Fort Dodge Foster Grandparent Program
A group of Foster Grandparents will encourage summer reading by staffing a weekly Joy of Reading bookmobile. The older volunteers will sort and stock donated books and help children select free books to take home.
* Gen2Gen partners: Corporation for National & Community Service, National Association of Foster Grandparent Program Directors

Summer STEM Fun Camp
Submitted by Michelle Webb from Baltimore, Maryland
The Webb Group Inc. Educational Learning Center
Volunteers with Foster Grandparents will serve as team leaders, taking 32 children and a group of teen youth workers on a field trip to the SciTech Student Learning Lab in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor for a full day of hands-on STEM activities.
* Gen2Gen partners: Corporation for National & Community Service, National Association of Foster Grandparent Program Directors

Building Birdhouses, Reading Books
Submitted by Sami Chau from Lansing, Michigan
Habitat for Humanity Capital Region
Older adults will join children at a local Head Start Center to build birdhouses and read books together. The event is part of the Habi-Kids Build Club, a new program for elementary school kids to learn about tools, skills and construction — and get involved with Habitat for Humanity.

Summer Reading and Celebration
Submitted by Greg Lukeman from St. Louis, Missouri
Oasis Institute
Over the summer, a dozen older adult volunteers with Oasis will provide 150 hours of service to the St. Louis Family Court – Juvenile Division to tutor 20 K-3 students referred for truancy and low-literacy levels. At summer’s end, the kids and their tutors will attend a back-to-school celebration where each child will get a backpack and books to start a home library.
* Gen2Gen partner: Oasis Institute

Reading at Farmers’ Markets
Submitted by Donna Johnson from Lyons, New York
Wayne County Action Program, Inc.
Volunteers with Foster Grandparents will staff reading tables at farmers’ markets in the communities where they serve. They’ll read with children while their parents shop, providing opportunities for summer learning and continuity of relationships.
* Gen2Gen partners: Corporation for National & Community Service, National Association of Foster Grandparent Program Directors

Let’s Go Get a Grandparent
Submitted by Za’Nia Belk-Gainey from Charlotte, North Carolina
Children will “adopt” a grandparent (or bring their own) for two lunches — one that will include a movie and one that will feature a variety of games. Both events will include fun, conversation, and discussions about what each generation can learn from the other.

Family Nights in Community Gardens
Submitted by Patty Lee from Cincinnati, Ohio
Community Matters
Older “Community Grandparent” volunteers and young families that regularly visit the Community Garden will gather for a special evening featuring a shared dinner, back-to-school storytelling, an intergenerational craft activity and a school supply scavenger hunt.
* 2017 Encore Prize semi-finalist

Cooking & Eating
Submitted by Eileen Van Kirk from Muskogee, Oklahoma
Youth Volunteer Corps of Muskogee
After having so much fun learning how to line dance from senior citizens at the local community center, Youth Volunteer Corps teens will plan a cooking experience with the older generation, choosing recipes to cook as they talk and eat together.

Building Wonder Doors
Submitted by Kemberly Todd from Roseburg, Oregon
Younger and older generations will work together to create “wonder doors” — small, fanciful, decorated doors that can be placed in the forest or in a child’s home. The goal: to open children’s imaginations while building intergenerational relationships.

Oral History Project
Submitted by Mary Williams from Goose Creek, South Carolina
Habitat for Humanity of Berkeley County
Fifty older residents of Moncks Corner will share the history of local African-American teachers and families with 150 youth. Together, older and younger generations will produce oral history recordings, post write-ups and photos on a neighborhood Facebook page, and plan future intergenerational projects.

Reading Garden
Submitted by Marilyn Kaple from Summerville, South Carolina
Dubose School Improvement Committee
Folks at the Charles B. Dubose Middle School will create an intergenerational reading garden that honors older veterans while showcasing student work. The lending box will include laminated biographies of area veterans written by language arts students at the school.

Boxing Aerobics
Submitted by Angel Vilarreal, Jr. from Milwaukee, Wisconsin
United Community Center Boxing Club
Youth boxers volunteer once a month to teach older adult neighbors the fundamentals of boxing aerobics and, in the process, learn leadership skills and form supportive intergenerational relationships. This summer, both older and younger generations will get fun incentives to keep it up, from t-shirts to water bottles.
* 2017 Encore Prize semi-finalist