Hallowell Elementary School will blaze trails within Hatboro-Horsham School District as it works to bring the influences of senior citizens into classrooms.
The new district initiative, which will be piloted at Hallowell through a partnership with Senior Adults for Greater Education (S.A.G.E.), is focused on bridging the generation gap between senior citizens and elementary students.
The outreach program allows senior citizens to interact with public school students, passing on life lessons to younger generations in elementary, middle, and high schools.
Hallowell Principal Steve Glaize said he's excited to be involved with S.A.G.E.
“We know that both the teachers and students are looking forward to working with this latest asset to the school’s family," Glaize said in a press release. "We are a pilot, so we will be able to learn things that can reach out and positively affect the district’s other schools.”
Throughout the 2013-14 school year, as Hallowell students are learning in the classroom, S.A.G.E. volunteers ages 55 and older, will be encouraging them in their lessons once a week and offering individualized attention.
A wide range of activities and opportunities are planned for S.A.G.E volunteers based on each classroom’s needs such as reading to students, helping in an art or science class, mentoring a student, chaperoning a school trip, and presenting an oral history.
“It also allows for a part of the community to see what happens in school, and actively participate in the education," Glaize said. "It provides a window into our world to see the strengths of others with positive impact upon the children.”
According to Beryl Katz, founder and executive director of Newtown-based S.A.G.E., seniors engaged in the program, gain first-hand knowledge of the schools’ community, especially those who no longer have children in the district.
“They feel more a part of their community," Katz said. "Many of our seniors unfortunately do not live near their children or grandchildren, but this program allows them to still make a positive difference upon younger generations."
To learn more
A recruitment welcome breakfast will be held on Sept. 24, at 9:30 a.m. at Hallowell Elementary School, 200 Maple Ave., Horsham. This event will offer anyone interested in volunteering the opportunity to learn more about the program and the school. Anyone interested in attending can RSVP with Hallowell Elementary School by calling (215) 420-5901.