What is GrandPals?
The GrandPals program is a learning and reading program pairing older adults with students in the Princeton Regional Schools. Senior volunteers read to kindergartners at Littlebrook and Riverside Schools to encourage a love of reading and to develop intergenerational friendships. At Community Park School, the GrandPals tutor elementary students in reading and math. The seniors assist pupils, enrich the educational program and contribute to the comunity while building lasting peer and intergenerational personal relationships
The program began in 1997 with 45 volunteers recruited for two schools and now serves more than 150 children. All children in the seven kindergarten classes at Little Brook and Riverside participate in the program. At Community Park School, the teachers select the children for participation based on their needs. Training and support is offered to GrandPals by the GrandPals Director and school personnel.
Could I be a GrandPal?
GrandPal volunteers are older adults (over age 50) who enjoy working with children. Some have had previous teaching experience, but it is by no means required. Littlebrook and Riverside volunteers meet the kindergartners once a week in the school library for about 30-40 minutes. Since these volunteers meet with their partners at the same time, there is also opportunity to share with other participants.You will read to one or two children each time and will be paired with the same children over the course of the school year. Community Park GrandPals work more closely with a teacher or an individual student, working out a mutually convenient schedule. 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