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Smith Senior Center Receives State Certification
Posted Date: 11/17/2014 3:15 PM

On October 22, the Mabel D. Smith Senior Center, located at 2401 Fairview St., received a “Center of Excellence” certification from the North Carolina Division of Aging and Adult Services.

The year-long comprehensive certification process was led by Smith Senior Center Director, Teania Jackson, and Parks and Recreation Senior Services Coordinator, Jennie Matkins.

In 1999, the North Carolina Division of Aging and Adult Services launched an initiative designed to enhance the operations, programs and services of senior centers across the state. A task force developed a certification process known as SCOPE – Senior Center Operations and Program Evaluation. This self-assessment tool and score guide measure centers against defined best practices, as well as identify areas where improvement is needed. To be certified, a center must demonstrate best practices in five major operational areas: outreach and access to services, programs and activities; planning, evaluation, and input from older adults; staffing; operations and physical plant.

The information provided in the SCOPE tool is reviewed on-site by a certification team comprised of staff from the North Carolina Division of Aging and Adult Services, UNC’s Center for Aging Research and Educational Services (CARES), Piedmont Triad Regional Council’s Area Agency on Aging, and other senior center directors from across the state.

Certification is a voluntary process that senior centers can use to be recognized in their communities and across the state as viable, fundable, and qualified providers of services within their communities. Its purpose is to strengthen the capacity of senior centers by providing a set of measurable indicators of best practices, improving the quality of senior centers, recognizing excellence that exists, and providing a guide for developing activities and services that respond to consumer needs.

Centers of Excellence provide exemplary services and opportunities to their communities and serve as mentors and models to other senior centers. Centers that are certified as Centers of Excellence receive approximately triple the amount of General Purpose funding from the Area Agency on Aging than those centers that are not certified. Of the 163 senior centers in North Carolina, 79 are certified Centers of Excellence and six are Centers of Merit.

During the certification team’s site visit on October 22, Smith Senior Center received a number of commendations from the team. Smith Senior Center’s certification is valid from November 1, 2014 through October 31, 2019, at which time a recertification site review will be conducted.

Blair Barton-Percival, Director of the Area Agency on Aging, and Bob Cleveland, Planner for Aging for Guilford County, presented a Certificate of Excellence to Teania Jackson and Jennie Matkins at the monthly meeting of the Greensboro Parks and Recreation Commission on November 12, 2014.

Smith Senior Center originally opened in 1976 as Fairview Recreation Center. It was renamed in 1982 as the Mabel D. Smith Center at Fairview. In 1998, it became Mabel D. Smith Senior Center and transitioned from a traditional recreation center to a senior center serving adults ages 55 and better throughout the Greensboro community.

For more information about Smith Senior Center’s excellent programs and services, please call 336-373-7564 or visit us online..

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The City works with the community to improve the quality of life for residents through inclusion, diversity, and trust. It has a professional staff of about 3,000 employees who maintain the values of honesty, integrity, stewardship, and respect. The City is governed by a council-manager form of government with a mayor and eight council members. For more information on the City, visit www.greensboro-nc.gov or call 373-CITY (2489).