Friday, January 25, 2008

Temple U's innovative "wisdom of elders" program to expand

For several years, a local initiative based at Temple University has captured the energy and expertise of many of the area's elders by connecting them to nonprofits.  Now, a $1.8 million grant over three years will allow Coming of Age to take its model on the road and replicate it around the country.  "There's a recognition that people age 50-plus are a tremendous resource for our nation, our communities," Dick Goldberg, director of the initiative, said yesterday as he announced the grant. It is from the Atlantic Philanthropies, an international foundation based in Bermuda that billionaire American philanthropist Charles Feeney began.  The grant will allow Coming of Age to bring programs to eight communities (still to be chosen) around the country - programs such as Boomervision!, a series of community dialogues held at PBS station WHYY's studios since 2005, and Learning Lab, which has brought nonprofits together to share strategies to tap retirees.  The money also will help broaden the initiative's reach into Asian and Hispanic communities in this area.  Coming of Age has boosted the number of those 50-plus who contribute time, either unpaid or paid, to community organizations, and it has expanded the types of opportunities available to older baby boomers and others, Stacey Easterling, program executive for the U.S. Aging Team of the philanthropy, said from New York

Source/more:  Philadelphia Inquirer, http://www.philly.com/inquirer/local/pa/20080123_A_growing_search_for_wisdom_of_the_elders.html

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