The $148,268 grant will support the Rollins Center for Lifelong Learning.
The Hamilton Holt School at Rollins College has received a $148,268 grant from the Winter Park Health Foundation (WPHF) toward the Volunteers Organized in Community Engagement (VOICE) Project.
A part of Rollins Center for Lifelong Learning (RCLL), VOICE was established as a unique educational and service program for older adult volunteers in Central Florida to address local community issues, such as making communities more age-friendly, reducing health disparities, and addressing food insecurity among community residents.
“We are excited about continuing our partnership with Rollins College to provide adults 50 and older with an opportunity to use their talents and experiences as volunteers to address some important social concerns and thereby strengthen community life,” says Diana Silvey, program director of WPHF.
RCLL was established in 2013, with support of the WPHF, to offer noncredit courses to benefit older adult residents of Winter Park, Maitland, Eatonville, and other local communities. RCLL has over 600 older adult students, and many have expressed an interest in volunteer opportunities, which will be identified by surveying RCLL students.
VOICE will initially seek to reduce the incidence of childhood obesity in Winter Park and surrounding communities by replicating a highly successful older adult volunteer service program, the CATCH Healthy Habits Program. Relying on some of the curriculum ideas and program activities of CATCH, VOICE will recruit RCLL volunteers to be trained in healthy eating habits and fitness activities to teach and mentor children ages 6 to 11. The lessons will help children learn healthy habits, reduce obesity, and encourage intergenerational activities.
A full-time coordinator funded by the grant will recruit and train volunteers and determine local sites.
“Volunteer opportunities for older adults not only improve their community but promote better health in later years and lower rates of depression,” says David Richard, dean of the Hamilton Holt School. “VOICE will benefit the entire community.”
For more information on the VOICE Project or courses offered by the Rollins Center for Lifelong Learning, go to www.rollins.edu/rcll.