Fuller Center & The Volen Center Intergenerational Project Made Possible Through the Generosity of the Brain Bowl

March 22, 2023

Contact: Toni Hassinger

Boca Raton, FL, March 22nd, 2023 – The Fuller Center and The Volen Center will launch their new collaborative Intergenerational Project after being named a $100,000 beneficiary of the Brain Bowl Events, Inc. Volunteer Committee Project. The program was announced at the Annual Brain Bowl Luncheon held on February 8th and the program became official with the check presentation on March 13.

The funds will enable the organizations to establish a full-time early education program at The Volen Center where seniors and children will interact, learn, play, thrive, and enhance each other’s lives. The project will benefit the community by expanding the opportunity for an additional 28 children, ages 2-5 years, to access needed childcare at a time when affordable care is difficult to find.

“This new program will help working families, including employees of The Volen Center, by offering childcare at their workplace so they are free to care for the elderly who are counting on them,” said Ellyn Okrent, CEO of Fuller Center. “Equally as important, this program will give the elderly suffering from loneliness and isolation a purpose and a reason to live. Research has shown that having a purpose improves health and has a direct correlation with the extension of life.”

“Intergenerational facilities save users and communities space and money while improving the health and overall outcomes of both age groups. While these programs are widely supported, they aren’t well known and receive little funding. In fact, there are waitlists at intergenerational schools because of the benefits,” said Elizabeth Lugo, President and CEO of The Volen Center.

“Brain Bowl’s mission is to bring awareness to Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and Dementia. Intergenerational interactions are a wonderful way to reduce stress and anxiety that exacerbate those conditions.” said Pamela Higer-Polani, Founder of the Brain Bowl Events, Inc. 

Numerous studies have linked social interaction with decreased loneliness, delayed mental decline, lower blood pressure, and reduced risk of disease and death. In addition, children who have early contact with older people are less likely to view them as incompetent. The children are prone to feel more comfortable around those with disabilities and impairments of all kinds than their peers who lack such experiences. Children often live far from their biological grandparents; this gives them an easier way to have daily interactions with this age group.

For more information, please contact Elen de Paula at edepaula@fullercenterfl.org or call (561) 391-7274, ext. 121.

About the Fuller Center
For more than 50 years, the Fuller Center’s mission has been to embrace, educate, and empower hardworking, under-resourced families and children to reach their full potential. We build a positive future through education for the more than 900 children (infants through teens) that we serve annually, as well as 600 of their family members. The Fuller Center reaches families in more than 40 zip codes throughout Palm Beach County, as well as northern Broward County.

Almost all Fuller Center working parents – 67% – serve as essential or frontline workers, working in hospitals, retail outlets, restaurants, and hotels. They are our bus drivers, store clerks and cashiers, farmworkers, delivery drivers, security guards, bank tellers, office workers, healthcare workers, home health aides, hospital orderlies and cafeteria workers, and childcare and eldercare workers.

 Our programs help empower children to start school prepared, succeed academically, and break the generational cycle of poverty through quality early childhood education, after-school and summer camp programs, our new private elementary school and teen leadership programs, and comprehensive, family-centered support services. They also empower parents who are essential to keeping our local economy open and who provide the vital services we all count on.

 The Fuller Center also offers mentoring programs and adult on-the-job training, coaching, and employment support, and no-cost transportation from 12 area schools to our campus-based after-school programs. We serve more than 1,800 nutritious meals and snacks daily.

In addition, Fuller Center provides opportunities for local colleges and universities to place undergraduate and graduate students in internships and child development practicums.

About Brain Bowl Events, Inc.            

Brain Bowl Events, Inc. is a volunteer-based non-profit organization whose mission is to

help raise awareness, promote understanding, and provide support to those living in our community and their loved ones coping with Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, the 100 types of Dementia, or a related neurocognitive disorder.  

About Volen Center

Serving from Broward to Palm Beach County, The Volen Center enhances the well-being of South Florida seniors by education and advocating on their behalf, and by providing health care and supporting services that meet their physical, emotional, social, and psychological needs.