CACFP Inspire: Jessica Coleman of Appalachian Agency for Senior Citizens in Virginia
October 20, 2022
Generations Day Care at Appalachian Agency for Senior Citizens is a truly special place. Generations' intergenerational atmosphere integrates the wisdom and insight of the elderly with the energy and enthusiasm of the young. Intergenerational day care offers children the opportunity to take part in carefully selected, supervised activities with senior citizens. As you can imagine, it takes a truly special person to supervise such a special place.
Meet Jessica Coleman. Jessica is the children’s day care supervisor at Generations, and in addition to overseeing all major aspects of the programming, she is also responsible for the administration of the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP).
When it comes to meals and nutrition, there’s a lot to be excited about at Generations. Jessica will even allow the children to prepare their own food for special occasions, such as having a pizza party or a picnic. An important aspect in the intergenerational approach is activities and one of the most popular is gardening, where Jessica has taken an active role.
Seniors share their expertise in growing vegetables and flowers with the children, and the children enjoy seeing the fruits of their labor come to life. Jessica recognizes these educational opportunities to teach children valuable lessons in not only traditional skills such as counting, but also in the commitment required in caring for the plants and reaping the rewards of that care. In learning to grow their own food, children also learn to establish healthy eating habits and have an opportunity to try new foods. Jessica also conducts food crafts and other fun activities with food that are incorporated into learning the alphabet and other lessons.
Jessica embodies the type of person you want caring for your most precious loved ones – your children. The children attending the daycare center call her “Mamaw Jess” as a term of endearment because she represents the kind of love and caring that grandmothers show to their grandchildren. She stands at the door to greet them each morning, and she is at the door again to say goodbye at the end of the day. Jessica provides a healthy learning environment where children are able to thrive and grow.