It is so great to interact with students, and those that are just across the street from us. I think it is a gift to have the opportunity to write letters with the students, but to see them in person too. I am appreciative for this experience.
I meet weekly with two young students. Both very inquisitive, they are great participants and come well prepared with questions. I am thoroughly enjoying these two and appreciate the opportunity that being a GrandPal presents. It is a great program that connects students and seniors, allowing us to share our stories while rekindling memories we left behind. Thank you.
The GrandPals program has been a great opportunity for my class. We have a nice mix of GrandPals that have lived in our area long term, and those that have moved to the area more recently. The experiences of both have given the kids opportunities to learn so much about the history of Onanole, and other areas of Canada and the world, while also sharing their own personal experiences. The students are always excited to reconnect with the GrandPals during our weekly meetings.
I can tell you, although I've missed a couple of meetings, that I've enjoyed every minute with my students. There weren't many times when there was silence between us. I loved that almost everything I was sharing with them could be seen on their laptops so they could cross-reference my story to an actual picture online. I look forward to the end of the project celebration on May 25!
The GrandPals program has exceeded my expectations in every way. I am most impressed with one of my students who generally has a negative attitude about school in general. He was not excited about what we were going to be doing and during the first meeting with his GrandPal, he was pretty much disengaged and borderline rude.
By the end of the 3rd session, he was begging for more GrandPal time and couldn’t believe it was time for recess. A quote from him: “This is WAY better than doing ELA because it’s so fun and we actually get to do stuff!” He still doesn’t really believe me that he actually IS doing English Language Arts the whole time through preparing for and participating in the authentic conversations he’s having with his group. He’s already excited about his idea of decorating a flower pot for his GrandPal as his final project. I don’t want to break it to him that doing that would be considered Art because he doesn’t like that either! GrandPals has really made a difference in our classroom.
I find I can’t remember what my day to day life was like when I was 11, I’m 97. Sure there was school, friends, homework, chores, you name it. It is nice to be reminded of how growing up is still so similar even though we are many (many) years apart.
One of the students in my group is new to the school. She was born in Israel. We had a chance to share some Hebrew words and to teach others in the group what it all meant. It was a lovely time together.
Celebrating Impact: Students’ Work Samples
Over the course of a GrandPals Project, students write about a story from their senior friend´s life. The project also involves creating supporting artwork. The following is a sampling of student work from Montgomery Village Public School, grouped under the following theme headings: