Community Spotlight: Generations Crossing

Published: Feb. 28, 2022 at 11:20 AM EST
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HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) - Generations Crossing was created in 2002 after a community needs assessment revealed the need for an adult daycare in Harrisonburg.

The founders went a step further, though, to create a space where adults and children could connect and have meaningful experiences together.

Through play time, arts and crafts and song, Generations Crossing has several ways different age groups can create bonds and learn from each other.

The daycare has programs for children aging from infants to 9 years old and for adults 18 years and older.

Right now, the youngest child at the daycare is 12 months old, and the oldest adult is 87 years old.

“The children are able to destigmatize certain things, such as people with disabilities, old age, wheel chairs and things like that,” Chelsea Bell, Activities Director, said.

And the older adults have the opportunity to remember their childhoods and share their stories.

“And then we have community members. We have JMU and EMU students that are coming in the building and our staff members, so we have such a variety of ages under the same roof,” Laurie Deavers, Executive Director, said. “It is such a magical moment to see new relationships that might not exist otherwise.”

While the pandemic has kept the different generations from physically coming together, the organization has gotten creative to make sure they are still connecting and maintaining those special relationships.

“We’ve done a lot of virtual things through Zoom and things like that, sharing stories and songs and different things. We also share cards and artwork,” Bell explained. “Their eyes light up, their smiles on their faces just grow as they see each other even through a screen.”

The daycare is looking forward to even stronger connections being made once it is able to have everyone reunite in person.

“Face-to-face story times, face-to-face exercise groups, and building blocks, arts and crafts together, a variety of different games,” Bell said. “We had a variety of people coming in from magicians to ballerinas to musical groups from universities to high school providing a wide range of entertainment... That is something that we are really looking forward to getting going again.”

And to celebrate 20 years of care, Generations Crossing will be looking back on all the different connections made and the impacts their work has had on the program participants and the surrounding community.

“We’re actually interviewing and posting stories of the impact that we’ve had on different individual families. We’ve had families who come here and bring their parent to the adult program and then their children to the childcare program,” Deavers said.

Generations Crossing is also hoping to raise $20,000 to continue growing for generations to come.

“We hope to kind of kick that off through the Great Community Give and then continue to raise funds until we reach our goal. We’ve been in this building now since 2008, and we have some renovations, some upgrades that need to get done, so we’re really hoping to get those funds and celebrate the impact we’ve had in the community,” Deavers said.

If you would like to help Generations Crossing meet that goal, you can go to their website or follow them on Facebook where you’ll also find ways to get involved or enroll your loved one.

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