CHICAGO – December 10, 2009. Governor Pat Quinn today detailed plans for a year-long campaign that will encourage older adults to engage in community activities. 2010: The Year of the Engaged Older Adult is a call to action for individuals, families, and communities to boost learning, strengthen the workforce, and enrich community life by encouraging older adults, ages 50 and older, to lend their expertise to these areas.
The announcement was made during the opening session of the annual Governor’s Conference on Aging.
“This program will expand our efforts to strengthen communities across Illinois,” said Governor Quinn. “The initiative will help increase the number of seniors who participate in volunteer activities in Illinois, allowing them to contribute their talents and expertise to benefit their communities.”
Illinois Department on Aging Director Charles D. Johnson is leading the statewide initiative with the support of an advisory team. The team is working to plan activities in each of Illinois’ 102 counties starting in January 2010.
“Our goal is to work with individuals, organizations and networks to promote civic engagement,” said Director Johnson. “We appreciate Governor Quinn’s challenge to our citizens ages 50 years and older to engage in activities that boost education, strengthen the workforce and enrich community life.”
Governor Quinn is challenging each citizen to support the initiative by joining activities and events that will be held across the state.
The state recognized one such citizen who works tirelessly to promote inter-generational plans. Jane Angelis is the Director of the Intergenerational Initiative at Southern Illinois University-Carbondale and serves as Project Director for the 2010: The Year of the Engaged Older Adult.
“Jane is one of those truly dedicated souls who believe it is a privilege to serve,” said Governor Quinn. “I applaud Jane and the other members of the team who work to support older adults, finding new and better ways to increase the number of engaged seniors.”
Governor Quinn was joined at today’s event by members of the NGA Illinois Leadership Team representing Illinois Department on Aging, Intergenerational Initiative-SIU School of Law, AARP, Retirement Research Foundation, Corporation for National and Community Service, Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce, Senate Higher Education Committee, Illinois Community College Council of Presidents, Chinese American Service League, Illinois Association of Area Agencies on Aging, and the McCormick Foundation.