Florida Senior Programs, Inc.
Executive Summary (SB)
Florida Senior Programs (FSP) is committed to operating programs that meet critical needs in the Central Florida community and to providing meaningful volunteer opportunities for caring adults 55 or better. For the past 37 years, FSP has successfully operated the Retired & Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) of Orange County and the Foster Grandparent Program (FGP) in five (5) Central Florida counties (Osceola, Orange, Seminole, Volusia and Flagler). FSP is recognized as a leader in the recruitment and management of volunteers because its volunteer program is a priority at every level of the organization. FSP's long-term success is a result of its ability to track trends and assess needs within our community through collaborative relationships with other agencies, including Heart of Florida United Way and Volusia County Head Start. FSP programs comply with the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) strategic initiatives, regulations and guidelines.
FSP is strategically aligned with CNCS service categories, performance measures and current initiatives. RSVP and FGP have joined forces and no longer work in "silos" under the umbrella of FSP. The result of this transition is the sharing of programmatic resources.
The proposal focuses on three critical needs in our community: educational success, school readiness through literacy, and disaster preparedness. The work plans address educational success through mentoring, school readiness through developing literacy skills by reading with 3 and 4 year old pre-school children, and disaster preparedness through developing crisis management plans for small non-profit organizations and small businesses.
Research-based methodologies used to implement the work plan goals include: Mentoring -- recruitment and development of mentors, matching mentors with youth and length of mentoring assignments (Mentor, Inc., Public/Private Ventures, AARP studies); Literacy -- curriculum (which meets Florida Sunshine State requirements), reading with children, and vocabulary development (ELLM studies, University of North Florida); and Disaster Preparedness (American Red Cross Emergency Response Teams, Liberty Mutual Insurance Company). FSP will utilize its current partnerships to build strong relationships for the RSVP program, including Public School Boards in Orange, Seminole, Volusia and Osceola counties, Orange County Head Start, Mid-Florida Services, Inc. (Volusia Head Start), 4-C (Head Start Osceola and Seminole), Early Learning Coalition and Adult Literacy League, and local chapters of national civic organizations (Kiwanis, Rotary, Chambers of Commerce).
Florida Senior Programs is requesting $105,000 to recruit, sustain and retain 300 RSVP volunteers. These volunteers will (1) provide literacy development to 500 three and four year-old children by reading with them; (2) mentor 350 students age 7 to 15 to improve GPAs, decrease school drop-out rates, improve attendance and classroom behavior; (3) assist 150 small business owners and non-profit organizations by developing disaster preparedness plans. The long-term impact of these efforts will be an improvement in school readiness for pre-kindergarten children, an increase in graduation rates for middle and high school students, and a reduction in the cost and havoc that results when non-profit and small business operations are interrupted by devastating disasters.