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Intergenerational programs are most effective when participation is voluntary.
It is important that potential participants of an intergenerational activity are given a choice of participating in the activity or not. In communicating, staff should be encouraging and enthusiastic, but not coercive. Once informed, participants can make a decision concerning their ability and willingness to join. Some participants may need time to ease into the routine of intergenerational contact, and staff can support that. By providing a choice, staff members set the tone of the activity in a positive light, while increasing the comfort of all involved.
Virginia Cooperative Extension materials are available for public use, reprint, or citation without further permission, provided the use includes credit to the author and to Virginia Cooperative Extension, Virginia Tech, and Virginia State University.
Issued in furtherance of Cooperative Extension work, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Virginia State University, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture cooperating. Edwin J. Jones, Director, Virginia Cooperative Extension, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg; M. Ray McKinnie, Administrator, 1890 Extension Program, Virginia State University, Petersburg.
April 9, 2015