Generation Xchange (GenX)
The program is a partnership between the UCLA Department of Medicine (Divisions of Geriatrics and General Internal Medicine in the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and the L.A. Unified School District). The mission is to promote greater health and wellness outcomes in at-risk older adults, while simultaneously supporting greater academic and behavioural outcomes for children in grades kindergarten through to 3rd grade.
Benefits for the Community
Students with improved academic outcomes are more likely to graduate from high school and stay out of the juvenile justice system. For older adults, improved health allows them to be fuller participants in their community. Because volunteers often live very close to their school, the students often see their volunteer outside of the classroom, building an additional layer of the community.
Benefits for the Younger People
GenX schools have a high number of underserved students in understaffed classrooms. With a regular GenX volunteer, these students get additional academic and emotional attention that results in better academic outcomes.
Benefits for the Older People
The program gives the older adult volunteers a sense of purpose and the opportunity to build relationships with children in their community and also provides the health benefits of social connection and physical activity. They are also given a small stipend for their time.
For the classroom
- 60 percent decrease in office referrals
- Increased levels of classroom engagement and time on task
- Decreased rates of absenteeism and tardiness
- Greater reading proficiency reported by teachers
For the older volunteers
- Combined weight loss of more than 100 pounds
- Improved mobility and stamina
- Increased social interaction
- 50 percent have increased their number of exercise days by a minimum of one day
- 75 percent have increased their daily activity level by 20-40 percent
- 60 percent have increased their intake of fresh fruits and vegetables
- 20 percent report feeling happier and more satisfied as a result of their participation in the program
For the community
- Students with improved academic outcomes are more likely to graduate from high school and stay out of the juvenile justice system.
- Improved health for older adult allowed them to be fuller participants in their community.
- Training manual which is used each year to train volunteers.
Project leaders will continue to enhance the program, developing new training volunteers in order to provide them with a growing array of skills and techniques that can help them support academic, behavioural and socio-emotional achievements among the children they work with. The Los Angeles Generation Xchange Program builds on Dr. Teresa Seeman’s prior collaborations with colleagues in Baltimore, where she developed and tested the Baltimore Experience Corps.
In Los Angeles, the program was first introduced to Angeles Mesa Elementary School in 2014 and has since expanded to three additional schools. At each school, lead volunteers coordinate with the Generation Xchange Co-Directors so there is a minimal burden on school staff.
For more information about Generation Xchange, click here.
Scottish Strategic Objectives
This type of program could easily be created to contribute to making our community healthier and smarter.
Smarter – Expanding opportunities to succeed from nurture through to lifelong learning ensuring higher and more widely shared achievements.
Healthier – helping people to sustain and improve their health, especially in disadvantaged communities, ensuring better, local and faster access to health care.
Scottish NPF national outcomes
This program could easily contribute to the following national outcomes of the Scottish Government’s National Performance Framework (NPF).
Children and young people – we grow up loved, safe and respected so that we realise our full potential
Communities – we live in communities that are inclusive, empowered, resilient and safe.
Education – we are well educated, skilled and able to contribute to society.