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RurAL CAP receives funding to continue elder mentor program in Alaska

Posted: January 12, 2014 - 1:04am

The Rural Alaska Community Action Program, Inc. will be the new administrator of the Alaska Elder Mentor Program. The program offers a small stipend to lower income elders who spend 20 hours or more per week who work with children in schools and pre-schools.

With funding support from the Alaska State Department of Health and Social Services and the Corporation for National Community Service - Senior Corps, the program will engage more than 150 to serve children with special needs in Head Start centers, schools, and other community based programs. In addition to the Elder Mentor Program, RurAL CAP administers other AmeriCorps programs.

“We have successful models in which elders have spent time working individually with three or four students throughout the week bonding with them, helping with their assignments and also spending time with small groups sharing culture and life skills,” said Program Manager Jan Abbott. “We also hear from teachers that students are often more engaged in class when there is an elder present.”

The goal of the program is to improve school readiness for the pre-school children and academic advancement in the older students.

Eligible elders receive a small stipend and support for meals and transportation.

“We are looking for elders who have a passion for helping young people, because their lifetime of knowledge and skills are such an important factor in shaping the future of their communities,” said Abbott.

For further information, visit www.ruralcap.com or call 907-865-7276 or toll free at 800-478-7227. The Rural Alaska Community Action Program, Inc., founded in 1965, is a private, statewide, nonprofit organization working to improve the quality of life for low-income Alaskans.

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