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"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)

Congratulations

“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). 


Officials Detail Storm Damage and Response Efforts

In the wake of Sunday’s severe storm and flooding, Baltimore County Executive Don Mohler announced that the County will provide curbside pick-up of storm debris from homes in the areas most severely affected by flooding.

“We understand that this unexpected storm has created major disruptions in localized areas in the County,” Mohler said. “Our crews have been working around the clock since Sunday afternoon. We are making extra resources available to help residents recover.”

Curbside Removal of Storm Debris

Mohler announced that the Baltimore County Bureau of Highways will provide curbside pickup beginning tomorrow, May 30, upon request of residents in the greater Catonsville and Oella areas and the Turner Station neighborhood in Dundalk. Residents may call 410-887-3560 to request this service, which will be made available through Friday, June 8.

The County is also providing a temporary debris drop-off center at the Benjamin Banneker Historical Center and Park, located at 300 Oella Avenue, Catonsville, MD 21228, 10 a.m. through 5 p.m., every day, beginning Wednesday, May 30 through Friday, June 8.

In addition, residents may deliver debris to the County’s drop-off centers located in Halethorpe, Cockeysville and White Marsh.

Storm Damage and Operations Summary

County public works and fire crews responded to more than 400 homes with flooded basements to assist with pump-outs. Fire crews performed dozens of significant water rescues and have responded to hundreds of calls for service since Sunday. Baltimore County Fire personnel also continue to provide mutual aid to Howard County, including search and rescue operations support.

One home in the Catonsville area was ruled uninhabitable by County inspectors. Catonsville Elementary School experienced minor flooding, but opened on time this morning.

Homeowners who have suffered damage are advised to contact their insurance companies immediately.

Four roads in the southwest portion of Baltimore County remain closed and County engineers are evaluating conditions. Closed roads include Old Frederick Road, River Road, Westchester Avenue and Thistle Road. Public Works officials expect these roads to remain closed for an extended period.

Storm recovery information will be updated on the County’s web site, baltimorecountymd.gov or on Twitter at BACOemergency.

County Invites Stories of Neighbors Helping Neighbors

During difficult times, people often need an extra helping hand, and others are willing to jump in and offer assistance. County Executive Mohler invites people to share stories about acts of kindness in the community, using the hashtag #BaltCoNeighborsCare.

“We would love for people to share their thanks for a neighbor who helped them clean their basement, or maybe a stranger who stepped in to help in a moment of need related to the storm,” Mohler said.

These stories will be shared and/or retweeted on Baltimore County Government’s social media pages.


 
 
Revised September 11, 2017