Thursday, 20 November 2014 15:21

'Adopt-a-Grandparent' Selected as November’s Community Champion

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Residents of Morning Star Nursing home and SUNY Oswego's Adopt-a-Grandparent Program look on as Program Coordinators Renee LaFreniere and Kayla Kelly (bottom left) receive the November Community Champion award from ROC member Penny Morley (bottom right).  Residents of Morning Star Nursing home and SUNY Oswego's Adopt-a-Grandparent Program look on as Program Coordinators Renee LaFreniere and Kayla Kelly (bottom left) receive the November Community Champion award from ROC member Penny Morley (bottom right). Submitted Photo

Recognizing Oswego County’s (ROC) theme for November is Senior Support. This month, the group focused its lens on efforts within the community to engage with and improve the lives of senior citizens.

Adopt-a-Grandparent, an all-volunteer, student-run group at SUNY Oswego, was chosen as the Community Champion for November.  

In discussing the importance of connecting with our senior population, ROC Co-Chair Penny Morley noted that as the population ages we need to ensure that we are creating a system that allows us to age better.  

“Now, more than ever, young people need to become more engaged in supporting seniors.  Adopt-a-Grandparent does just that,” Morley said.

Recognizing Oswego County focuses on the positive efforts that are being made in the community.  Each month ROC uses this recognition effort as a platform for emphasizing the wonderful work that is happening in Oswego County to promote the health and wellness of children, families and adults.

Adopt-a-Grandparent is housed under the Service Learning and Community Service department at SUNY Oswego, but is completely run by students.  The group is currently coordinated by Renee LaFreniere and Kayla Kelly and has 68 student volunteers who visit 7 senior residential communities in Oswego and Fulton throughout the school year.  

So far this semester, they have logged over 700 hours of service participating in weekly activities like bingo, bowling, arts and crafts, cards, painting nails, adapted sports, and other fun activities.  At the end of the year, they throw a Senior Ball with catered food and live entertainment.  According to LaFreniere, everyone dances and has a great time.  

“The program creates a connection between the college and the students.  We learn so much from them,” LaFreniere said.   

“This is a very popular volunteer group on campus and there is a waiting list for students to participate,” said Alyssa Amyotte, coordinator for Service Learning and advisor for Adopt-a-Grandparent. “Our numbers are capped now due to having limited transportation and a limited number of group leaders. To get around this, Kayla and Renee have been looking at ways to expand the program by offering a weekend program for students who are busy during the week.”  

Each month, ROC selects a theme and invites guest speakers to share the good work they are doing.  Nominations are also solicited for Community Champions.  For the month of December, Recognizing Oswego County is seeking nominations in the area of Outdoor Winter Recreation.  A potential nominee might be an individual that coordinates an outdoor community event or activity.  Nominations are due by Dec. 10.  The nomination form is available on the ROC Facebook page or by contacting [email protected]

ROC members include representatives from a broad range of community organizations as well as individual community members.  New members are welcome.  Monthly meetings are held from 8-9:15 am on the second Thursday of the month at the Oswego County Federal Credit Union at 90 E. Bridge St.

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