Jennifer C. Greenfield, MSW, and Ernest Gonzales, MSW, doctoral students at Washington University’s Brown School, recently offered testimony on the implementation and assessment of the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act. The Act, signed into law by President Obama on April 21, 2009, creates several new programs aimed specifically at recruiting older adults into national and community service, while expanding existing national service programs such as AmeriCorps and VISTA.
Gonzales’s and Greenfield’s testimony highlighted methodological approaches and impact measures that should inform design and assessment of programs for older adults. In their testimony, the two drew extensively from lessons learned from CSD’s impact study on Experience Corps, a tutoring program that places older adults in public schools to help students who have been identified as poor readers.
Greenfield’s and Gonzales’s testimony was part of a Listening Session sponsored by the Corporation for National and Community Service in Springfield, Missouri in May, and will become part of the public record. Notably, the two doctoral students were the only researchers present at the meeting, which included more than 100 program directors and AmeriCorps/VISTA members, as well as federal administrators of the Corporation for National and Community Service.