I’m writing this as we expect another snowstorm (March 24). We are a hardy bunch, we New Yorkers. I know you may see changes going on here at Stein and change is unsettling. But change we must to strengthen our agency. I was reminded by our Advisory Council (made up of center members) to remind all our participants that your donations are needed to enhance our programs. We have a small budget for programs, but a big dream of providing opportunities for our members to learn, to be inspired by the programs here at Stein. We’ve had to look at those programs and discontinue those that are not well attended and supported by members.
As a program developer, I don’t like having to discontinue programs, but I must bring down costs to be a responsible Administrator. Max Lerner, who was a long time member of Stein used to describe Stein as “The Stein Center for the Humanities” and suggest that we become a community college for seniors (I love the idea!). Please remember to contribute for lunch and all the activities you support. The Department for the Aging has changed over the years and expects senior centers to be more self-sufficient and entrepreneurial in order to raise funds for special programs. We have recruited new board members who will spearhead fundraisers and actively oversee the center operations. We are also planning for our 40th Anniversary coming in the Fall, 2014.
The Feldenkrais study has been completed and the Control Group is now getting the 12 session workshop. We hope the Feldenkrais Institute will continue to give classes at Stein since it was very popular with our members. The Senior Chorus is also doing well and preparing for some performances in May when the sessions will end. We hope to work with Turtle Bay Music School again in the Fall.
We will be having a Membership Registration Drive in the near future. One of the changes at The Dept. for the Aging is the new “Performance-based” contracting. This means our funding is dependent on meeting units of service and registered members are counted. Please register with us if you are not already a member. There is no cost to register, but it helps us to meet the requirements of our contract.
We are also beginning a “Story Corps” type program to video members’ life stories. A young Anthropologist and a young Emergency Room Doctor are developing this program and would like people to participate. Please sign up with Bob if you would like to join.
We are working on:
a) setting up trips in the Spring
b) setting up a movie program
Thank you for your support and ideas. I do read all of your suggestions and try to implement those that we can. We have a corps of Volunteers who are so important to the running of the center. We also have opportunities to become a Senior Companion. As a Senior Companion, you will visit and/or escort a senior on walks or to the center or shopping, etc. It is a paid stipend and you must commit to working at least 15 hours per week. If you want to know more about the program, speak to Jane or Sandy. New Senior Companions will be trained by Henry Street Settlement Senior Companion Program.
Here’s to a more peaceful Spring!
Jane Barry, Executive Director