Seniors in Service depends on local funders to help accomplish our mission. We are grateful to each of these organizations for supporting training and resources to enable volunteer tutors and mentors to help children improve their literacy skills and develop resiliency for future success.
Community Foundation Tampa Bay provided a $48,579 grant to train Foster Grandparents to help the children they are tutoring develop emotional intelligence skills. Research shows it’s critical for children to develop emotional intelligence to equip them with the skills to overcome challenges for success in academics, relationships, and life.
Our Foster Grandparents serve in schools with high needs where many students face challenging life circumstances outside of the classroom. As volunteers help children improve their literacy skills, they also need the tools to help students build resiliency to truly achieve personal success.
The funding by Community Foundation Tampa Bay will allow Frameworks to provide ongoing, research-based training for our volunteers to learn how to create an environment that intentionally encourages positive youth development so each child can reach their full potential. Through Frameworks training, Foster Grandparents will learn about the building blocks of emotional intelligence, including self-awareness, relationship skills, responsible decision-making, and self-management to help children successfully navigate life’s challenges.
Spectrum provided an $11,000 Digital Education Grant to help 156 tutors and mentors confidently use technology to meet struggling students online.
Two years ago, no one thought virtual tutoring and online training would be possible. Then COVID-19 happened, and we were forced to rethink everything we had done in the past in order to engage volunteers and continue to mentor students who needed us more than ever. Thanks to the digital education grant provided by Spectrum, our volunteers have learned new technology skills that allow them to continue to reach even more students and connect with their fellow volunteers in ways they could not before.
Through this grant, each volunteer received a tablet, and Seniors in Service provided weekly training to help volunteers understand how to confidently use it to access the online platforms it provided, like Zoom and email.
The technology skills our volunteers learned reached into other areas of their life as well. Many learned to order groceries and medication online, visit family and friends through Zoom, and attend online training that enriched their lives.
The return on investment of this grant will continue for years to come as volunteers continue to use the technology skills they have gained to enrich their lives and the lives of those they serve.
Spectrum Communications Director Joe Durkin presented Seniors in Service CEO Robin Ingles with an $11,000 check to support digital education for Foster Grandparents. Volunteer Gladys Everett shared how this grant helped her tutor children online, and Hillsborough County Commissioner Harry Cohen expressed the value of companies like Spectrum investing local nonprofits to support the community.
Junior League of St. Petersburg provided a $1,000 grant to support Social Emotional Learning (SEL) training for our volunteer tutors and mentors. The picture on the left shows funding in action! The check presentation took place at a Foster Grandparent volunteer in-service where Frameworks of Tampa Bay, Inc was leading this important SEL training. Frameworks provides research-based resources to help educators and youth-serving professionals equip students with social emotional skills. We love this picture because it shows the smiling faces of so many caring adults who are committed to the success of children in St. Petersburg.
The DeBartolo Family Foundation stepped in with a $2,500 grant to provide the extra funding needed to ensure every student enrolled in Readers in Motion had a backpack full of supplies to encourage their love of learning. A record number of students signed up for Readers in Motion this year and benefited from the literacy support it provides to young students.