Cypress Cove at HealthPark Florida has been awarded the Florida Literacy Coalition’s 2017 Outstanding Business Partner Award in recognition of its highly successful employee literacy program, Project Boomerang.
The program, now in its fourteenth year, originally started because of concerns about the abilities of employees, who spoke English as a second language, to understand and interact with the residents they serve on the 48-acre Life Care community campus. Resident volunteers picked up the challenge and began teaching employees who sought to improve their literacy.
“Since Project Boomerang’s start in 2004,” remarks Cypress Cove Executive Director Michele Wasserlauf, “many employees have benefited greatly from their program participation. Equally, the program continues to bridge multigenerational gaps between employees and residents – thereby improving resident service expectations.”
Resident instructor and employee teaching sessions are done in one-on-one settings often twice each week. Meanwhile, textbooks and other teaching materials are supplied by Cypress Cove’s administration. Typically, students may progress through multiple levels of learning. Many employees have used the program to advance their careers – and still others have used the program to gain their U.S. citizenship.
Project Boomerang born its name from an idea that the effort, talent, energy and love thrown into the project would have a positive benefit to the community of Cypress Cove. “This goal has and continues to be achieved,” Wasserlauf says. “We’re so proud of the employees and thankful to the residents for their unselfish giving. It’s a win-win for everyone.”