Skip Navigation

Image of the Baltimore County Historic Courthouse

Baltimore County News

Stay informed of what's happening in Baltimore County.
Date: Mar 27, 2019

"Journey Into Space" and "Get Your Feet Wet with Technology" Named 2018 NISC Programs of Excellence

Every day across the country, older adults visit their local senior center to connect with friends, learn something new, discover how to stay healthy, give back to their community and more.

This year, Catonsville and Parkville Senior Centers have been recognized by the National Council on Aging’s (NCOA) National Institute of Senior Centers (NISC) with a 2018 Programs of Excellence Award honorable mention prize for their innovative programming. Catonsville and Parkville were two of only 15 programs honored with the annual recognition for innovative, creative and replicable programs for older adults, out of a field of more than 100 submissions from across the United States.

Program Details

Get Your Feet Wet with Technology

Older adults learning about technology.

Catonsville Senior Center was recognized for its “Get Your Feet Wet with Technology” program that they conducted in partnership with the Baltimore County Public Library Catonsville Branch. The four-week program taught participants how to use technology to gain information about fitness and nutrition, music and movies, photo editing, instant messaging and online shopping. The program was conducted on tablets that were purchased through a grant from the Catonsville Women’s Giving Circle.

Journey Into Space

Older adults crafting.

Parkville Senior Center’s “Journey Into Space” intergenerational program was also a four-part series that brought seniors and students together to learn about space and space exploration. During the first class, senior center members and their grandchildren watched a distance learning program by NASA where they were on a virtual spaceship. In subsequent classes, the participants built rockets, learned about the International Space Station and Newton’s Laws of Motion, and watched "Star Wars."

About the NISC Awards

The NISC Programs of Excellence winners are picked by a committee of senior center professionals. Certificates and cash awards are given to programs in seven categories and in one highlighted area related to preventing social isolation. The categories include:

  • Community Development, Leadership and Intergenerational
  • Cultural Programs
  • Fundraising
  • Health and Wellness
  • Nutrition
  • Technology
  • Special Events
  • Social Isolation Prevention (Highlighted Area)


“Our 20 senior centers in Baltimore County are important destinations for older adults to live longer and live well, and our staff works hard to keep our programs fun and educational for our members,” said Laura Riley, Director of the Baltimore County Department of Aging. “We are honored to have two of our centers receive a NISC Programs of Excellence award, and hope that other senior centers across the country will be able to replicate these programs to benefit their members.”  

“I’m proud of the great work our Department of Aging team does with our older residents,” said Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski, Jr. “This is a great recognition of the work that is being done to keep our older adults healthy, active and informed.”

Learn More

Learn more about Baltimore County senior centers and their various programs for older adults, or view the full list of 2018 NISC Program of Excellence Award winners.

The mission of the Baltimore County Department of Aging (BCDA) is to strengthen lives by providing services, programs and connections to resources. Throughout the County, BCDA operates 20 senior centers and the Maryland Access Point for Baltimore County (MAP). 

TOWSON, MD (March 27, 2019) — In the latest effort to promote open and accessible government, Baltimore County today unveiled a new, interactive online tool for residents to learn more about the state of Baltimore County’s budget and the difficult choices under consideration during the ongoing budgeting process. 

Through the “Balancing Act” platform, residents can now examine the County’s projected fiscal situation for the coming fiscal year, and simulate reallocating funds in order to balance spending and revenue.

“I am committed to engaging with our communities like never before, and that includes allowing residents to experience the tough choices we’re facing firsthand as we craft the first budget of my administration,” said County Executive Johnny Olszewski. “This tool empowers people across Baltimore County to better understand the difficult choices ahead of us as we work to build a better Baltimore County together.”

To date, County Executive Olszewski has taken important steps to open up Baltimore County’s budgeting process and improve government accountability. He hosted a series of town-hall meetings focused on Baltimore County’s budget in order to engage directly with residents, hear from them about their priorities, and have an honest dialogue about the county’s fiscal challenges. On his first day in office, he created the Commission on Fiscal Sustainability to examine the county’s budgeting practices and make recommendations for improvements. He also introduced, and the county council passed, a package of sweeping government ethics and accountability reforms, including the creation of an Office of Ethics and Accountability and a ballot initiative for voters to consider a public campaign financing program. 

The Balancing Act tool is available at: note: this tool may work best in a recent version of Chrome, Safari or Firefox.

County Executive Olszewski will submit his first budget to the County Council on April 15, 2019.


Revised September 11, 2017