The Garner Senior Center was recertified as a Center of Excellence by the N.C. Division of Aging and Adult Services on May 23. The designation was the result of a five-year process that involved documenting achievement in five different operational areas: outreach and access to services; programs and activities; planning, evaluation and input from older adults and staffing and operations.
Certification is a voluntary process that enables senior centers to be recognized in their communities and across the state. The certification process strengthens the capacity of senior centers by providing a set of measurable indicators of best practices. Centers of Excellence have proven they provide exemplary services and opportunities to their communities and serve as mentors and models to developing centers.
Because of the Center of Excellence designation, the Garner Senior Center will remain eligible for three shares of funding from the State of North Carolina instead of a single share. These funds are used to enhance the services at the center.
“This certification means a lot,” Senior and Adult Programs Manager Torrey Blackmar said. “It acknowledges the efforts of our volunteers, partners, participants and staff.”
“When I announced to our participants that we are a Senior Center of Excellence, the response I got was, ‘Of course we are!’ They have recognized this center as a special place for a long time,” Blackmar said.
The Garner Senior Center is owned and operated by the Town of Garner Parks, Recreation and Cultural Resources Department and works in cooperation with Resources for Seniors and Meals on Wheels to offer a full-service facility for adults ages 55 and older. Most basic services are free of charge and are available to residents of Garner and the surrounding area.
Since it first opened in 1991, the Garner Senior Center has provided a variety of physical, social, leisure and educational opportunities for older adults. The center serves 3,700 registered participants through more than 150 programs and classes each month.