Our History

The GrandPals Program was started in 2010 by a teacher-team at Montgomery Village Public School in Orangeville Ontario.

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2010 - Starting Out

A teacher-team at Montgomery Village Public School in Orangeville Ontario developed the GrandPals project which connected elementary school students with older adults at the Avalon Retirement Residence. 

2014 - Establishing Roots

The first year of a “GrandPals Gala” for Montgomery Village Public School Students. In previous years the project had not enjoyed this kind of wrap-up celebration and closure. This video summary captures some of the highlights from the inaugural event.

2015 - Sharing & Promoting

Springboarding from the resources shared, our friends at the Orangeville Christian School launched a successful GrandPals Project at the Avalon Retirement Residence. Highlights from the project are captured in this summary video.

2016 - Gaining Support

Image of the Rotary Club of Orangeville with students of Grandpals

Having gained the attention of the Rotary Club of Orangeville, the GrandPals Project at Montgomery Village PS received a Rotary District Grant to support and further develop the project.   

Link to article.

City News ArticleThis Toronto City News feature was the result of a partnership between the Town of Orangeville and the GrandPals Project at Montgomery Village PS. 

Funds for the project were provided by a grant from the Ontario Seniors Secretariat.

Link to City News article.

2017 - National Acclaim

Marc & Lynda with the Governor General in 2017Montgomery Village PS teachers Lynda Brown and Marc Mailhot received the Governor General Award for Excellence in Teaching for their work on the GrandPals Project. 

2018 - Resources to Share

The Tamarack Institute hosted a webinar focused on the GrandPals Project, promoting the social impact that is possible through community connected learning. Watch and learn from the webinar.

2019 - Measuring Impact

Through a partnership with the Community Engaged Scholarship Institute (CESI) at the University of Guelph, Masters student Nicole Libowitz studied the impact of the GrandPals Project on participating older adults and wrote her thesis on the topic. 

2020 - Broader Reach

2020 - Broader ReachKimberly Hartnett and her Grade 3 students at Carmel River Elementary (California, USA), made use of the resources shared on www.grandpals.ca to launch a successful project in partnership with The Carmel Foundation.

2021 - Reinventing

Marc Mailhot teamed up with the Centre for Studies in Aging and Health (CSAH) at Providence Care to strategize on how to grow and expand the reach of the program in a world impacted by COVID-19. CSAH at Providence Care is a centre for excellence for facilitating knowledge exchanges, education, capacity building and research to improve health and well-being of older adults. Together, Mr. Mailhot and CSAH established the GrandPals National Program.

2022 - National Expansion

The Centre for Sudies in Aging and Health at Providence Care secured a three-year grant to expand the GrandPals Program nationally. In the 2022/2023 school year, the program was introduced to a communities in Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Ontario.

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Our Vision

To create a world of deeper intergenerational learning, storytelling and friendship. We do this by working with select local organizations and their communities to implement the GrandPals Program in Canada.

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