Senior center earns second accreditation
By Steve Smith - Staff Writer
Glastonbury - posted Fri., Jan. 25, 2013
The Glastonbury Senior Center received its second accreditation from the National Institute of Senior Centers, and celebrated at a ceremony on Jan. 24. Commission on Aging Chair Eva Bowden said Town Manager Richard Johnson said the senior center's first accreditation five years ago validated what he and town officials already knew.
“What we knew was that we had a second-to-none, top-rated senior program and partnership between our staff, our many volunteers and our commission on aging,” he said, adding that the center's re-accreditation may have more significance than the first. “I figure, just in case they feel that maybe we didn't get it right the first time,” he joked.
Johnson said that eight of Connecticut's approximate 150 senior centers received the accreditation, making them among the top 4 percent in the country. Johnson thanked the myriad volunteers who have helped at the center, as well as those who helped with the accreditation process.
Human Services Director Pat Schneider called the honor an “accomplishment for the community, as a whole. It's not just the programs and the building people look at,” she said. “It's everything from governance... policies and procedures, staffing and personnel, and how you work with the community.”
Some of the center's strengths listed in the review include tremendous support from the town of Glastonbury, the well-maintained facility at the Riverfront Community Center, and the center's programming.
“All of these are valuable additions to the lives of many of our senior residents and their families,” Bowden said. “All reflect the fact that throughout Glastonbury, people care about the well-being of our older neighbors.”
The 18-month-to-two-year accreditation process, Schneider said, highlights what the center does well, but also provides feedback as to ways in which the center can grow and improve. Bowden thanked Schneider and said she is also a big reason for the center's success, as well as the leadership of Senior Center Coordinator Maryleah Skoronski.
“She has been our advisor and counselor and source for lots of our inspiration,” Bowden said of Schneider. “Together, they and a truly strong cohesive staff have held this center to high standards. The quality of this mulit-talented, committed, experienced group was noted in the review.” Bowden added that the commission does not “serve in the trenches,” but rather “observes from afar,” and thanked the town for its support, as well as volunteers, local organizations and business partners.