If GrandInvolve had an office, its awards would take up an impressive amount of wall space. In May, Fairfax County VA-based GrandInvolve won the Commonwealth Council on Aging’s 2019 Best Practices Award for a volunteer group.This remarkable group began in 2014 under the leadership of Dorothy Keenan, former supervisor of Fairfax county’s 13 senior centers. It now has 160 volunteers working in 18 Title 1 elementary schools (the federal designation of schools with high percentages of children from low income families).  By 2024, GrandInvolve expects to expand to all 50 of the county’s Title 1 schools. An all-volunteer team runs the organization and plans its growth, as well as providing in-school volunteers.

GrandInvolve also received the 2017 Governor’s Award as an Outstanding Community Organization. Its work was featured in a January 2019 “Covering the Corridor  article and a February NBC4 news story.

GrandInvolve volunteers work in classrooms directly with students in a variety of activities designed by teachers. The volunteers, Keenan said, “are changing the trajectory of success for our most vulnerable populations while enjoying and benefiting from the relationships we develop with the children.”

(L to R): Award presentation to Marcy Stennes, GrandInvolve; Kay Larmer, GrandInvolve and Commission on Aging; Dot Keenan, GrandInvolve Founder and ED, Cheryl Lafferty (GrandInvolve), Dr. Richard Landsay, DAR Best Practices Awards Chair, Patrick Herrity, Fairfax County Board of Supervisors 50+ Committee

During the award reception, the council’s Best Practices Committee Chair Dr. Richard Lindsay noted that GrandInvolve “puts volunteers in the classroom and the children cheer them as they’re coming in.”

GrandInvolve volunteer Victor Pocaro

The Commonwealth Council on Aging advises the governor on issues affecting nearly 1.8 million Virginians age 60 and older. Best Practice award criteria include community impact, potential for replication, innovation, outcomes and promotion of aging in the community. The award provides $5,000 toward organizational funding.

For more information contact Dorothy Keenan here.

Published: July 16, 2019