Thursday, August 6, 2009

School Volunteers Discover Fountain of Youth Experience Corps Bay Area Seniors Gain Improved Quality of Life

From Grantee Magazine, a California Wellness Foundation publication
By Cathy Curtis

San Francisco-based Aspiranet (formerly Moss Beach Homes, Inc.)—which established the Bay Area site of the national Experience Corps program in 1998—received a three-year, $150,000 grant from TCWF in June 2006 for core operating support for an intergenerational, volunteer-based tutoring program that concurrently improves senior health.

“The goal behind creating a team of volunteers is that they see each other on a daily basis,” said Kaleda Walling, ECBA director. “This is a way for them to connect and share similar interests.”

Studies of Experience Corps volunteers show that the program provides multiple health and social benefits. The Johns Hopkins Schools of Medicine and Public Health surveyed volunteers who had participated in the program for four to eight months. These seniors said they were more active (63 percent) and felt stronger (44 percent). They had also made new friends and spent fewer hours watching TV.

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