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JABA’s FISH Intergenerational Mentoring Program Earns National Recognition

JABA’s FISH (Friends in Schools Helping) Program has been selected as a Program of Distinction by Generations United, a national non-profit organization dedicated to promoting intergenerational collaboration, public policies, and programs for over 30 years. According to Generations United, the Program of Distinction designation serves as the U.S. benchmark for intergenerational programs and is based on the criteria that underpin the effectiveness of high quality intergenerational programs.
 
“The FISH Program is in an elite class as a program recognized with a designation of this stature,” said Donna Butts, Executive Director of Generations United. “This year we received a number of outstanding applications, and JABA’s FISH program was one of five to be selected by our outside review panel.” 
 
JABA’s FISH program began in 2004, and today there are 60 retired adults serving as mentors in 20 school across our service area. These volunteers serve at least one hour every week to support students one-on-one or in small groups in local schools. One mentor in Louisa County has been with the same student for seven years now. The majority of FISH mentors build strong relationships with local teachers, as well, and return year after year to provide individualized academic and emotional support for their students.  
 
“The success of our FISH Program shows how valuable our seniors are to the community,” said Marta Keane, CEO of JABA. “Intergenerational programming like this has a powerful, lasting impact on the lives of young people and their senior mentors, and indeed on the fabric of our community, which is stronger when people of all ages work together.” 
 
“We are so grateful for each mentor in our “school of FISH” who dedicates time every week to show up for our local youth,” says Carleigh Showalter, JABA’s Volunteer Services Coordinator. “They help to bridge generational divides in our community, and are an important part of the ‘village’ that every child needs.”
 
Contact JABA’s FISH Program: fish@jabacares.org or call 434-817-522. Contact JABA Media Relations: dmcnair@jabacares.org or call 434-817-5236.

Link to press release

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