GrandPals is an intergenerational educational program connecting Princeton School children with older adults. The program’s goals are to foster positive intergenerational relationships and to create a life-long love of reading and learning in our young children. GrandPals offers an opportunity for these older adults to share their experience, skills, and interests. Teachers value this program because it gives the children a calm period during their busy day to listen to fascinating stories, get their questions answered, and relate to an older adult. Many children do not have grandparents nearby. GrandPals is a wonderful opportunity for several generations to meet and get to know one another: the GrandPals, the teachers, and the children.
The GrandPal program is a joint program between the Princeton Schools and the Princeton Senior Resource Center. This program of reading to kindergartners started in 1997 at Littlebrook School. Riverside School adopted the program in 2006. In the spring of 2012, we started a pilot project with one second grade class at Robbins Elementary in Trenton. That program, directed by Liza Peck, has expanded to include two first grade classes as well. Community Park School has several GrandPals working in the classroom or after school, and will add GrandPals to a second grade classroom for a once a month reading session in the fall of 2012.
Fifty to sixty GrandPals read once a week to kindergarten children at Littlebrook or Riverside Schools. There are 5 thirty to forty minute sessions for the volunteer to choose from. The entire kindergarten class is brought to the school library, where one or two children are paired with a GrandPal. The volunteer will read with the same children each week. Eight to ten GrandPals will be reading at each session. We ask for a commitment to one of the sessions for the entire school year. However, it is understood that many of the volunteers travel and may have other emergencies, so occasional absences are expected. We provide a substitute GrandPal or pair the children with other GrandPals for that session.
Could I be a GrandPal?
To volunteer with our program, please call Olivian Boon at 609-924-7108 or e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. We will arrange an interview and discuss where you might best fit as part of this exciting program. Call the GrandPals Director at the Princeton Senior Resource Center, 924-7108 to volunteer.
"It has been the best year ever with our GrandPals! The kindergarten teachers and I agree that the program is one of the most outstanding and memorable experiences our children have during their first year of school." Kathy Patten, school Principal
Grandpals Newsletter - February 2012
Grandpals Newsletter - February 2013