The West Windsor Senior Center achieved national accreditation on September 24, 2020. The center is located in West Windsor Township, NJ. The township has a population of 27,000 and covers 27 square miles. Located in Mercer County, it is suburban, and a few miles from Princeton University. The center is a department of the Township and serves primarily township residents.Non-residents may participate if there are available slots in programs or activities.The population served is very diverse with many Asian participants. The Center typically serves a daily average of 170 persons. The average age of the participants is 73. Since the last accreditation, the older adult population has grown from 6.2% to 11.91% of the total population.
Prior to the pandemic, the senior center provided a wide variety of programs and services, including many exercise and health related classes that are in great demand, as well as a number of classes and programs that cater to the interests of culturally diverse older adults. During the pandemic, the Senior Center has posted exercise videos on its website, offered Spanish classes via Skype, and, beginning the second week of September, started outdoor exercise classes with appropriate social distancing.
The peer reviewer found the following strengths of the West Windsor Senior Center:
- The senior center is beautiful and a wonderful resource for the community. It has excellent support from the township.
- Participants are very engaged and proud of the center and its programs, services, and activities.
- The number of programs, services and activities is impressive, especially given the small number of full-time staff.
- The center welcomes community groups, so they do not have to do everything themselves.
- The center has adapted to the pandemic by offering videos on the township website and Skype and outdoor classes. They have also started posting the newsletter on the website to avoid touch points, although participants can still receive a hard copy mailed to them upon request.
Many of the Self-Assessment Committee were involved in the prior accreditation and indicated that this review did not take as long, and was easier. They all were impressed with the scope of what the center offers and expressed pride in it, and in the Center again pursuing accreditation. Learn how achieving national accreditation by understanding the National Senior Center Standards and completing the self-assessment process can instill pride and foster excellence at your center. Learn more about National Senior Center Accrediation.