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  2001 Press Releases  

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT: Jan Costello
Phone: 217-785-9020, TTY: 1-800-252-8966

April 20, 2001

Open House During 'Volunteer Week' Spotlights Intergenerational Program

SPRINGFIELD, IL – Illinois Department on Aging Director Margo E. Schreiber invites the public to attend an open house at 9:00 a.m. on April 23, 2001, at Lake Elementary School at 3201 East 23rd Street in Granite City. The school is one of four sites in the state to receive a grant from the Department to start a new intergenerational program linking senior volunteers with students.

Through the program, Talented Older Persons in Schools (TOPS), seniors tutor and mentor kindergarten through sixth grade students. In addition to helping students by giving them attention and assisting with their studies, seniors help monitor classrooms, hallways, cafeterias, and playgrounds to promote school safety.

"We are thrilled with the response to this program," said Schreiber. "Already, there are sixteen seniors and forty children involved in a mentoring program through TOPS at Lake Elementary. I hope parents, volunteers, teachers and other community members will come to the open house to learn a little more about the positive effects older adults can have on children within a school environment."

Schreiber said the open house will honor the volunteers and inform potential volunteers about opportunities to become involved as part of Illinois’ celebration of Volunteer Week, April 22 – 28.

"This has been an extremely successful program," said local TOPS Coordinator Sarah Huber. "The volunteers are very enthusiastic."

In addition to Lake Elementary School, other schools which received $5,000 grants are: Egyptian Community Unit in Tamms; Ford Heights School District, and the Danville School District. Sites were selected from more than twenty applications and considered criteria such as truancy rates, reading scores and service to low–income students.

Lake School submitted its grant request in conjunction with Project Success, Big Brothers/Big Sisters and the Retired Senior Volunteer Program of Southwestern Illinois College.

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For more information, call the Illinois Department on Aging's Senior HelpLine at 1-800-252-8966 (Voice and TTY).



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