Curriculum Alignment and Learning Outcomes
The program aligns well with language and visual arts curricula:
- Students read, think, and respond to weekly discussion questions, developing oral communication skills through small group meetings with GrandPals.
- Students develop their writing skills, as they discover, capture and share a story from their GrandPal’s life in written format.
- Visual arts requirements are met as students represent their GrandPal’s story through a creative expression.
The program also aims to achieve:
- Learning skills development, including collaboration, initiative, and responsibility. Students collaborate in the context of small group meeting times, while taking initiative and responsibility for project work and presentation.
- Social and emotional growth as students connect with their GrandPals.
Key Activities and Interactions
- Weekly small group discussion sessions revolve around life themes like home, family, learning, work, and travel/adventure.
- Students discover, capture, and share stories through writing and art, culminating in a final book presented to GrandPals and the wider community at the end-of-program celebration event.
This program’s been great for my daughter. She has much more appreciation for the seniors in our community. And she’s much more willing and wanting to help. Something as simple as opening a door for a senior in a public place, in a shop, just stopping and saying hello. Offering to help – those are the types of changes I’ve seen in my daughter – it’s just been wonderful.
Teacher Support and Resources
- Teachers receive support from a program coordinator and community champion from the supporting community / affiliate organization.
- Classroom resources include a project kick-off slide deck, weekly discussion questions, video lessons, and an online portal for program coordination.
- Program effectiveness is evaluated through teacher and GrandPal surveys.
The GrandPals Project offers a unique opportunity for meaningful intergenerational connections, enhancing academic, social, and emotional development among students while promoting understanding, empathy, and mutual respect between different generations. The program’s focus on storytelling creates a nurturing environment for learning, fostering valuable experiences for all participants.