From Two to Ninety-Two
Last week Steepletown was further introduced to both ends of the age spectrum. On Monday, March 5th, the Steepletown Preschool opened its Early HeadStart classroom for two year-olds. The reason for opening this classroom is that it offers one more resource for the many young parents who are in Steepletown’s GED Program and who need access to quality, affordable child care and education. With the classroom just across the street from where these young parents prepare for their GED, coming to school has taken on a new meaning for both mom/dad and their child. This duo-generational model of education has been largely touted by the Aspen Institute as a best practice as it significantly increases the motivation of the parent to complete their academic goals. This EHS classroom now brings the number of 2-4 year-olds served by the Steepletown Preschool to 56 children.
On the other end of the spectrum, another employee-in-training through AARP has joined the staff at Steepletown. Steepletown is a host agency and provides employment training for seniors based on their employment goals and interests. The second person Steepletown ever hired was Eileen Kochevar, who was assigned to Steepletown by AARP shortly after she turned 55 years-old. In 2010 she retired after serving as the Assistance Coordinator at Steepletown for nearly 15 years. Our newest recruits do a variety of things, such as providing clerical support; managing client intakes and records for the Steepletown lawn care service; offering information & referrals over the phone for emergency services; doing building maintenance; and assisting in business development. A senior employee-in-training can be at Steepletown for up to six months, at which time employment has to be offered or they are assigned to another host agency. Besides Eileen, Steepletown has hired four other seniors over the years. Mike Pannill continues as Steepletown’s Lawn care Supervisor and Sheila Booker is the current Assistance Coordinator.
While these programs may seem like disparate parts of Steepletown’s work, they are really intended to support the young adults that are in Steepletown’s workforce development program, as childcare and economic stability often come up as issues. There are various volunteer opportunities in the EHS classroom; contact Elizabeth@steepletown.org. And for information about AARP’s senior employee-in-training program, contact the AARP Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP) at 649-0310.