Hazel Poole Receives 2014 Community Champions Award

Molina Healthcare of VA presented Poole with the award for her volunteer work with Greenspring’s ESL program

(Springfield, Va.) – On October 30, Molina Healthcare of VA held their 4th annual Community Champions Awards Dinner and honored citizens who positively affect the health and well-being of others.  Greenspring resident, Hazel Poole, was presented with a 2014 Community Champions Award for her extensive volunteer work with Greenspring’s English-as-a-Second-Language (ESL) program.

“I accept this award in honor of the current ESL program tutors and for all those who have been a part of the program,” said Poole. “When I first started the program, I did not realize how successful it would be and how many lives it would touch.  We have seen our students improve their communication skills with their supervisors, colleagues, and the residents of Greenspring.  It is why we keep on giving our time and effort to help these very hardworking students.”

Since 2002, Poole has volunteered to organize three 10-week courses per year for employees of Greenspring to study ESL with a resident volunteer tutor.  More than 280 employees, most of them residents of Fairfax County, have attended and successfully completed the courses.  At one point, there were ESL students from 17 different countries enrolled in the program.  Many of the ESL students have used the skills acquired through the courses to apply for and become U.S. citizens.  Over the years, Poole’s efforts have also inspired over 50 Greenspring residents to become ESL tutors.

“Mrs. Poole has our respect and admiration for bringing the ESL program to life at Greenspring and for ensuring that it keeps going strong year after year,” said Elke Martin, Volunteer Programs Coordinator at Greenspring. 

Many of the residents who’ve assisted as tutors for the program over the years were able to attend the Awards Dinner along with Poole, including Mary Sue Garner, Millie Monahan, Elaine Baush, Mary Nadeau, Lore Schneider, and Frances Huenemann.  Huenemann, one of the first residents of Greenspring, has been assisting with the ESL program since its inception. 

“It’s one of my favorite things to do at Greenspring,” said Huenemann.  “It’s been a pleasure to get to know these employees, and it’s really a joy to see what a difference it makes.”

ABOUT GREENSPRING:  Greenspring, one of 18 retirement communities managed by Erickson Living, is situated on a scenic 58-acre campus in Springfield, Virginia.  The community is home to nearly 2000 residents, many of whom reside in the over 1400 independent living apartment homes.  At Greenspring, over 200 resident-run and resident-driven programs promote an engaged, fulfilling lifestyle that is reflected in resident satisfaction levels that exceed the industry average.  Additional information about Greenspring can be found at www.ericksonliving.com.