Programs of Excellence

Award-winning programs from senior centers across the U.S.

Apply by Nov. 10

Apply now

Every year, the National Institute of Senior Centers (NISC) honors outstanding efforts made by senior centers across the nation to offer innovative, creative, and replicable programs for older adults.

Senior centers across the country offer an exciting array of programs. The annual NISC Programs of Excellence Awards honor and promote these outstanding efforts.

In 2017, NISC is offering $100 awards for winners of each category, and a $300 award for the top marketing campaign! The $300 award will rotate through different categories over the next few years. Apply now for the 2017 awardsand share this flyer to encourage others to apply. Applications are due by Friday, November 10.

2016 Winners

After reviewing 99 nominations, the NISC Committee selected six award winners and six honorable mentions. Each program is proof of the important work that happens at senior centers.

Read about the 2016 programs of excellence winners to get unique programming ideas for your center. A complete listing of all submitted programs is available as a NISC member-benefit.


  • Winner: Diversity Workshops – An Exploration of Cultures and Customs, SNAP of Eastern Queens Innovative Senior Center, Queens Village, NY
  • Honorable mention: Getting to Know You Series, Margaret Schweinhaut Senior Center, Silver Spring, MD

Expressive and Creative Arts

  • Winner: Community Drumming Events/Build Your Own Drum, Mill Race Center, Columbus, IN
  • Honorable mention: Remembering the Dream, Indian Head Senior Center, Indian Head, MD


  • Winner: Parking Lot Garage Sale, Malley Senior Recreation Center, Englewood, CO
  • Honorable mention: Grand Gala 2016: Havana Nights, Senior Center, Inc., Charlottesville, VA

Leadership, Civic Engagement, & Community Development

  • Winner: Generational Memoir Project, Vesper Hall, Blue Springs, MO
  • Honorable mention: “Health & Wellness” Educational Series, Salvatore Mancini Resource & Activity Center, North Providence, RI

Nutrition, Fitness, & Health Promotion

  • Winner: Community Garden Expo, Frank Bailey Senior Center, Riverdale, GA
  • Honorable mention: Senior Walk/Stroll in Collaboration with Kaiser Permanente, J. Charley Griswell Senior Center, Jonesboro, GA

Special Events

  • Winner: Senior Enrichment Day, Spartanburg County Parks Department: 50+ Wellness, Spartanburg, SC
  • Honorable mention: 15th Anniversary of LGBT Senior Alliance, Madison Senior Center, Madison, WI

Previous winners

How to apply

All senior centers are invited to submit a program in one of the six categories above. Judges will look for programs that are innovative, creative, and easily replicated. You can apply for the 2017 awards hereand please share this flyer to encourage others to apply. Applications are due by Friday, November 10.