Seniors For Kids Society - Program Structure
- Individual students meet with their matched school grandparents. They meet out of the classroom in a designated area from 40 to 55 minutes. During this time, each group becomes involved with projects such as literacy, school subjects, computer projects, crafts, environmental projects or games.
- Volunteers can act as classroom grandparents. They are not teacher’s aids but involve themselves in the academic and social integration of the students. The senior volunteers participate in specific classroom activities as determined in consultation with the teacher. The intent is that the children benefit from the role models and consistent support of adults who are neither parents nor teachers. Volunteers occasionally are given permission to have some private time with a student to work on their ‘own project.’
- Senior and Junior High School intergenerational programs meet the increasing importance of community service to students in terms of scholarship, job experience, leadership skills and the many benefits inherent in personal discovery and reward in giving something back to the community.
- Seniors can also offer the students/teachers of schools a supplemental resource to the curriculum, drawing on their experience and knowledge.
- A resource book is developed that contains relevant information that highlights the volunteer's background, areas of expertise, availability for classroom visits, length of talk/session/program, and any items the volunteer would need when presenting such as an overhead, laptop computer, slide projector or other, and how the individual can be contacted.
- Areas of interest could be science, service, religion, local artists/poets/authors, cultural diversity, entrepreneurs, and different types of professions (astronauts, physicists, diplomats etc.)
- The presentation would be aligned with areas within the school curriculum.
- When a senior volunteer is open to sharing some information about past life experiences, this usually encourages the young students to ask questions and to consider more deeply what they have taken from their own relatively limited experiences. Conversational topics vary widely but are chosen for the way that the students can learn from the senior.This strengthens intergenerational relations, and at the same time makes history and culture more relevant. This fosters community pride within all those involved.
"Grandparents and Grandchildren are joined by the heart."