JEFFERSON CITY — A $250,000 state tax credit will help Boone Hospital be the site for Missouri’s first intergenerational day care facility for both the very young and the very old.
Jan Grossmann, executive director for the Boone Hospital Foundation, said the facility will be based on a California model called One Generation. The center will provide day care for 104 children and 60 seniors. Eight times a day, the children and seniors will participate in planned activities.
“They can be any kind of activity that a grandparent would do with a child,” Grossmann said. “Anything from singing and dancing to backing cookies to gardening.”
She added: “It’s a very positive experience for both the children and the seniors.”
Research conducted by Richard Hessler, professor emeritus of sociology at MU, said there are benefits of intergenerational care for children and seniors.
“For seniors, it often prevents full-time nursing care, boosts self-esteem and encourages active lifestyles,” Grossmann said. “For the children, it encourages empathy and positive attitudes toward people who are different from themselves.”
The Boone Hospital Foundation intergenerational day care facility is projected to cost $6 million. In one month of fundraising, the foundation has raised nearly $1 million.
The facility is scheduled to be completed in August 2008.
The tax credits were awarded to the hospital through the Neighborhood Assistance Program, which is administered by the state’s Economic Development Department. Nonprofit organizations are awarded the credit if they are involved in projects that aid community economic development.
The program seeks to “encourage communities to contribute to local projects,” said Gregg Ochoa, a spokesperson for the department. The tax credit allows individuals who donate to Neighborhood Assistance Program projects to deduct 50 percent of their donation from their state taxes.
According to Grossmann, the facility will create an estimated 48 new jobs for care workers, as well as jobs for construction workers while the facility is built.
“We will also be working with the MU Office of Service Learning and William Woods University to develop internship opportunities for students,” Grossmann said. She added that Moberly Area Community College, Stephens College and Columbia College will be adding courses in intergenerational studies to their degree programs. These programs will be among the first of their kind in the nation, Grossmann said.
Though Boone Hospital Foundation had to apply to receive the tax credit, finding out they actually got it came as a surprise.
“We didn’t know we received it until we heard we were going to be interviewed for newspapers,” Grossmann said. She chuckled and said “hopefully (the economic development department) will let us know we got it soon.”