The Sharon Adult Center/Council on Aging provides adults of all ages and backgrounds with a place to gather for stimulating and entertaining programs, events, and camaraderie. Among the offerings are educational programs and lectures on a wide variety of topics, art classes, films, as well as health and fitness presentations, clinics and classes, multicultural and social gatherings, and local trips. The Adult Center also houses the Lakeside Gallery which exhibits rotating shows by local and the Craft Corner, displaying crafts by Sharon artisans that are available for purchase. The Adult Center is staffed by town employees of the Sharon Council on Aging (COA) who, in addition to the Adult Center’s activities, focus on social services, transportation and other programs to enhance the quality of life and address the needs of adults over the age of 60 and adults with disabilities. They also provide limited social services and transportation to non-elders and act as the Human Services agency for the town. Well over 1500 people are served annually and many more receive educational materials and a monthly newsletter from the Adult Center/COA staff.
Diversity: The Adult Center/COA seeks to support older members of the community who come from diverse backgrounds, including recent immigrants to the United States. A monthly Chinese luncheon, as well as occasional Indian and other ethnic meal or socialization programs, provide opportunities for older immigrants to gather together with people from the Sharon area who speak the same language. English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) classes for Russian community members and Chinese elders, as well as Yiddish classes, also are offered. Recently, the Adult Center/COA began programs to serve the older LGBT (lesbian gay bisexual transgendered) population and to raise awareness of the challanges facing older LGBT adults.
Outreach to town elders and their families, as well as non-elders in need, is offered by the COA. Elders residing at the Sharon Housing Authority and Stony Brook Court, whether Russian-speaking or others, utilize the services of the Adult Center/COA as desired or needed, and may meet together and with neighbors at a weekly coffee and discussion hour at the Sharon Housing Authority Clubhouse.
Opportunity with SPN: Collaborations among the Sharon Adult Center/COA and other SPN Partners enrich all participants by facilitating better outreach to the cultural and religious groups in Sharon, sharing facilities and other resources, and enabling programs to reach audiences of all ages.
Past and current collaborations include:
- a Chinese-Tibet Discussion Forum, requested by the Chinese community in response to controversies around the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics, hosted by the Adult Center
- the opening of SPN’s Sharon’s Many Traditions Photo Exhibit in the Lakeside Gallery in 2009
- ESOL Movie Nights currently underway
Address:219 Massapoag Ave, Sharon Community Center Lower Level, Sharon, MA 02067
Contact:Norma Simons Fitzgerald, MSW, LICSW, Executive Director