CLEARFIELD – On Oct. 7, Clearfield Area Elementary School launched a “Dimes and Dementia” Fundraiser in conjunction with the Clearfield County Area Agency on Aging Inc. and Mature Resources Foundation for the unique project called The Village of Hope.
The agency and its subsidiary purchased the Girard-Goshen Elementary School building and ground as the future site of The Village of Hope, which will be a multi-generational, multi-ability community that will provide accessible, affordable housing, particularly for older adults.
This community stands to create “a neighborhood of reciprocity,” particularly for those diagnosed with dementia and their care partners, those who have raised and are raising adult disabled children, and grandparents raising grandchildren.
While the project is still in development, Phase I of the project is slated to begin in spring of 2020. The Village can be checked out at www.ourvillageofhope.com.
The “Dimes and Dementia” campaign is an opportunity for children to be a part of the Village of Hope through fundraising for the cause, examining money denominations, experiencing charitable giving and learning about diseases like dementia.
The concept is quite simple: each homeroom was given a 16-ounce water bottle, and students will be encouraged to fill the water bottle with dimes, hence “Dimes and Dementia.”
Theoretically, each filled bottle will raise $100 toward the Village of Hope. Elementary School Nurse, Ms. Stefanie Sattesahn, was instrumental in arranging this opportunity with school administration, and coordinating the Kickoff with Bobbie Johnson, coordinator of mission advancement for the Area Agency on Aging.
CAES Principal Ken Veihdeffer, Sattesahn, Johnson and several student and school representatives assisted in handing out 51 water bottles, along with informational packets, to each elementary homeroom.
According to Johnson, “We (at the agency) are all about ‘building a better community for older adults’ and believe that the students in our school districts, across the county, play an integral role in helping us accomplish this mission.
“Partnering with our community’s youth allows us to educate young people about the benefits of generational diversity and combatting ‘ageism’, while working together to make change happen.”
She added: “We are so excited about our partnership with the students and staff at Clearfield Area Elementary School – the students were really excited to help, which is contagious.”
In addition to the fundraiser, CCAAA has provided three story books to CAES, which teachers can weave into a lesson, to help students better understand dementia and how it affects the brain.
According to recent market study data provided to CCAAA by the Penn State Data Center, Clearfield County had over 5,000 individuals, or 7.4 percent of the county population, living with cognitive decline in 2017. Of those 5,000 with cognitive difficulties, 37.5 percent were ages 35-64 and 21.8 percent were 65 or older.
Partnerships are currently under discussion with several other schools in the county as well. All schools across the county are encouraged to participate in this community partnership, and, if interested, can contact Johnson at the agency by calling 814-765-2696. All water bottles and corresponding information will be provided by the agency.