Aleutian Pribilof Islands Association Inc.

Contact Information

1131 E Intl Airport Rd
Anchorage, AK 99518 - 1408
(907) 222-9721
FY 2017 RSVP Expansion Competition

Executive Summary

Executive Summary

The Aleutian Pribilof Islands Association, Inc. (APIA) will develop and manage a Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) within the geographic areas of the Aleutian West Census and Aleutian East Borough areas. This program will primarily operate in the focus area of Healthy Futures to meet health needs and within the focus area of education within the following 10 communities; Akutan, Atka, False Pass, King Cove, Nelson Lagoon, Nikolski, Sand Point, St. George, St. Paul, Unalaska, all within the Aleutians West and East areas along the Aleutian Chain of Alaska. The majorities of these communities are relatively smaller and range from the community of Nikolski home to 19 full time residents to the community of Unalaska which is home to roughly 4,500 full time residents and increases to 6,000 people during peak fishing seasons. However, all 10 communities have little to no senior services. This project will support and promote access to care and food, aging in place and ultimately support seniors living independently through the healthy futures objectives. The project will also support children in completing early childhood education programs, improved attendance and increased social and emotional development. This project is proposing to recruit 61 RSVP volunteers within these 10 communities for a proposed total budget of $76,250. We plan to hire a 1.0 FTE Rural RSVP Coordinator to develop, manage and operate the program. In partnership with the 4 Head Start programs in the communities of Sand Point, St. Paul, Unalaska and King Cove we plan to have 11 RSVP volunteers assisting in these Head Start classrooms to support school readiness amongst the enrolled head start children. Additionally, this project will partner with the local school boroughs within both geographic areas where applicable, to engage a total of 20 RSVP volunteers in school-based and community-based mentoring to improve school attendance and sustain mentor-student matches. The proposed activities in the areas of school readiness and K-12 success will have an emphasis on intergenerational programming, addressing ways to increase older adult engagement with young people. In some cases this will take form as mentoring during culture camps where students will build traditional kayaks, traditional drums, learn survival skills and sustainable food skills. In addition, to the education focus, APIA proposes to enroll 23 RSVP volunteers under the aging in place objective and will provide companionship to seniors in the communities through visiting homes, congregating for activities like card and/or game playing, crafting and accompanying seniors to social gatherings and outing. There are currently no ongoing formal companionship activities taking place in many of the 10 communities. Lastly, APIA will recruit and enroll 7 RSVP volunteers to provide transportation services to seniors in the 10 listed communities with a focus on seniors accessing preventative/medical appointments at the local clinics and health clinics and other services that will allow the seniors to live independently. Transportation for seniors in these small communities proves to be a challenge where most residents are able to walk from place to place and have abilities to drive ATVs, or vehicles. Unalaska is the only community that currently has a formal senior transportation program that provides seniors rides three days a week in the mornings. It was estimated by 2013 that the 55 years of age and older population would rise above the 425 mark within the Aleutians East and West areas. It is highly likely this number is pushing the 500 mark. With little to no senior programming activities, isolation, depression and feelings of little social support will decrease many seniors' quality of life. The proposed program will increase the health and well-being of seniors' residing in these communities while also decreasing the generational gap between the youth and senior populations.

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