As you all know, FBWE Village was selected for funding under the DCOA Fiscal Year 2018 Senior Village competitive grant process. Our grant has been funded in the amount of $71,071.08. The key project goals include:
•Recognize and build awareness around the topic of social isolation and engagement
•Create improved pathways to technology tools for seniors
•Provide access to knowledge and educational resources to other Villages locally, regionally, and nationally
The FBWE Village staff, members, and volunteers are working closely with retained grant consultants, Double R Productions, and Young Marketing Consulting, as well as Selfhelp, the producer of a Virtual Senior Center based in Flushing, New York. The grant is divided into two programming components each with clear performance standards and separate budgets.
Online Educational Programs
The first program is aimed at increasing social engagement by creating an online video education library focused on health and wellness topics for seniors living in socially isolated situations. Throughout the term of the grant (completion by September 30, 2018), our Village, working in conjunction with Double R Productions and Young Marketing Consulting, will produce a series of six educational videos. Topics may include, but are not limited to, nutrition, brain health, depression, and opportunities to connect peers outside of their homes, with an emphasis on mitigating social isolation.
The content of the video programs will be derived from live “in person” sessions featuring subject matter experts and service providers leading discussions. These events will be at accessible locations and transportation to attend will be provided.
I’m also happy to share with you that the DC Public Library is a key supporter of our grant and will provide the Village with access to meeting rooms and audio-visual equipment at multiple branches in different wards of the city. In addition to the DC Library offering to promote and market our online educational videos, the Foggy Bottom Association (FBA) and the West End Citizen’s Association (WECA) have both offered their broad support to helping us achieve the objectives of this grant.
Please check out our first video which includes an introduction to the concept of social isolation based on the FBWE Village Town Hall event held on September 30, 2017. Click here to watch.
The pilot program is a study of five DC Village members who will use a Virtual Senior Center application created and launched by Selfhelp. Pilot program participants will receive a computer (large touch-screen monitors), internet connectivity, and programs that will connect them with other participants in a range of activities. A cornerstone activity of the program is its interactive, real-time classes where participants can hear, see, and talk with each other.
Over 40 classes are typically offered each week ranging from art history to current events to museum tours to weight training and other exercise programming. Also, our online educational videos will be integrated into the Selfhelp platform as a new content application. Selfhelp’s groundbreaking technology effectively reduces social isolation by creating social networks and has been shown to break down barriers of digital literacy as well as improve participants’ quality of life.
The “all-in-one” computers with the webcam, microphone, speakers, and computer integrated into one device are due to arrive in our office next week. Installation of the equipment and training with the five Village participants will be conducted by our Sr. Program Specialist, Peter Sacco. The pilot program will start the first week of April.
Thank you and have a good week.