In 2016, Parentis Health Senior Care launched the Parentis Health Foundation. Through the Parentis Foundation, our mission is to bring impactful and meaningful opportunities to older adults in our community. This past year, we had the honor of becoming the host agency and Orange County affiliate for Experience Corps, AARP Foundation’s nationally acclaimed intergenerational volunteer-based tutor/mentor program. After a summer-long senior volunteer recruitment campaign, thirty-seven dedicated volunteers age 50+ completed over 20 hours of training and have begun providing literacy support and mentorship to over 100 struggling readers in the Boys & Girls Clubs of Capistrano Valley three sites located in San Juan Capistrano, Aliso Viejo, and Rancho Santa Margarita. During the school year, tutors provide two days a week, 30-minute 1:1 and small group tutor sessions focusing on reading fluency skills. Through the mentorship of the Experience Corps volunteers, our goal is to provide students with an opportunity to perfect their reading skills through repetition and practice, while also benefitting from their tutors’ patience, wisdom, and mentorship. It is a win, win for both generations!
In over 22 locations nationally, the AARP Foundation Experience Corps program has been shown to improve the literacy rates of children, enrich the lives of older adult volunteers and strengthen schools in communities. In a single school year, students in K-3rd grade who worked one-to-one with Experience Corps tutors achieved more than 60 percent greater gains in critical literacy skills than their peers who were not served by the program. As an anti-poverty strategy, Experience Corps is helping to provide both older adults and children with opportunities to enrich their lives through literacy.
2016-2017 Boys & Girls Clubs of Capistrano Valley Statistics
Percent of members on free or reduced lunch program: 88%
Annual Children Served: approx. 2300
Average Daily Attendance – 3 branches 478
- 58% Hispanic
- 31% Caucasian
- 3% African-American
- 3% Asian
Positive Engagement and Health Benefits for Older Adult Volunteers
A 2014 study, “Volunteering as a Pathway to Productive and Social Engagement among Older Adults” (Morrow-Howell, et al.) found that subsequent to joining EC, volunteers reported high levels of starting a new job, new volunteer position and starting a class. When asked if and how EC participation played a role in their new involvements, 71% said it increased confidence, 76% said it increased realization of the importance of organized activities/daily structure, and more than 40% said they made social connections that led to new involvements. Most reported they were more likely to be involved in advocacy efforts for public education. The results suggest that participation in EC is a pathway to other productive social and civic activities.
//parentishealth.com/foundation/ – Video