GrandInvolve, a volunteer group that brings older adults into Fairfax County Virginia Title 1 elementary schools to improve student success, won the $5,000 first place Best Practice Award from Virginia’s Commonwealth Council on Aging. GrandInvolve volunteers work in classrooms, offering their time, skills, and talents to work directly with students by engaging in a variety of teacher-designed activities.
“We are honored to receive this award for our intergenerational program. GrandInvolve volunteers are changing the trajectory of success for our most vulnerable populations, while enjoying and benefiting from the relationships we develop with the children,” said Dorothy Keenan, founder and executive director of GrandInvolve. In 2008, Dorothy retired as supervisor of county’s 13 senior centers; she sits on several nonprofit boards and she’s committed to the development of encore programs in northern Virginia.
The Council advises the Governor on issues affecting nearly 1.8 million Virginians age 60 and older; its annual awards acknowledge organizations whose innovative programs can be replicated across the Commonwealth. Criteria include community impact, potential for replication, innovation, outcomes, and promotion of aging in the community. “Each year the committee selects from a field of outstanding applicants with programs that impact the quality of life of older Virginians, care partners, and care recipients,” said Council Best Practices Committee Chair Dr. Richard Lindsay. Dominion Energy supports the Best Practices Award, which encourages organizations across Virginia to develop programs that assist older adults to age in their community. The full press release can be found here.
GrandInvolve launched in 2014. It received the 2017 Governor’s Award as an Outstanding Community Organization. Currently, 160 volunteers work in 19 Fairfax County schools; its ambitious leadership teams plans to expand to all 50 Title 1 schools by 2024. An all-volunteer team runs the organization and plans its growth, as well as providing in-school volunteers.