Older Adults Volunteering at FCPS Title I Elementary Schools is a Winner


pictured above: Marcy Stennes, Cheryl Laverty, Governor Terry McAuliffe, First Lady Dorothy McAuliffe, Cindy Nothom, Dorothy Keenan, Kay Larmar

Members of GrandInvolve were surprised at a ceremony at the Executive Mansion in Richmond, VA on Thursday, April 20 when they were presented with the award. GrandInvolve is a volunteer group that brings older adults into Fairfax County Title I Elementary Schools to assist in classrooms, and is one of Fairfax County’s 50+ Inititiatives,  GrandInvolve is honored to receive this prestigious and competitive award. The Governor’s Volunteerism and Community Service Awards are presented by the Governor’s Advisory Board on Service and Volunteerism and VDSS’ Office on Volunteerism and Community Service on behalf of the Office of the Governor. These awards have recognized exceptional volunteer service in Virginia for more than 20 years. 

GrandInvolve volunteers offer their skills and talents to work directly with students.  Their presence in the schools serves to connect the community and local schools, creating lasting and meaningful relationships between generations and cultures, and allowing people of all ages to share their talents and resources while supporting each other in relationships that benefit both the individual and the community. 

Gail Harris, Director, Office on Volunteerism and Community Services, Virginia Department of Social Services, had the following remarks after the award presentation.

 “GrandInvolve is an outstanding example of a two-generation approach that is yielding measurable results.  By sharing their time and experiences, the 100 seniors who volunteer in the program are making a huge impact on the children of Fairfax County both socially and academically. The senior citizens, in turn, get the joy of seeing a future generation build skills and relationships that will help them for years to come.  Congratulations to GrandInvolve on your well-deserved recognition.” 

A partnership with Greenspring Village, a senior housing community in Springfield VA, brings many volunteers to the program. Kathryn Knoble, the Volunteer Coordinator at Greenspring Village, explained,

“The partnership with Grand Involve not only has provided an opportunity for our residents to volunteer at a local elementary school, Crestwood Elementary,  but also provides our residents with many other community connections that have become a great benefit to them and to Greenspring.  The residents from Greenspring who participate in this volunteer project, absolutely love the children and this weekly interaction with Crestwood students has become a highlight of their week.”  

Further strengthening the network of community involvement in the program, a bus from Grace Presbyterian Church in Springfield regularly transports the Greenspring volunteers to Crestwood Elementary. 
The GrandInvolve Program facilitates intergenerational and intercultural activities, strengthening the bonds of the oldest and youngest community members, and supporting the education of our most vulnerable populations.  

Michele Duell