Between Generations

March 9, 2024

When students and senior citizens get together, you’ll be hard pressed to find a better time. That’s why what began as a partnership between the seniors at Bayview and Oakview, and a local kindergarten class has expanded well beyond its humble beginnings.

“We started coordinating with one of the elementary schools in our area in late summer of last year,” explained Amanda Goode, Service Coordinator at Bayview, one of the affordable housing communities owned and operated by MRC. “They eventually sponsored a family at Christmas and the kids did a food drive as well. Our seniors reciprocated by sponsoring their class and engaging with the students.”

This caught the attention of the La Porte Independent School District (ISD), leading to a more robust partnership. The newly announced collaboration will include the following opportunities for intergenerational engagement:

· Onsite student led tech support classes for elders

· Onsite registration and training for elders who want to mentor a student attending school in La Porte

· Onsite events with students from choir & band

· Onsite visits from students and “critters” from the Living Materials Program

· Veterans honored at ROTC student event

· Students & elders gardening event for Earth Day

· Events for elders & students with shared interests in photography & fishing

· Elders able to apply for “Gold Card” to attend football games and opening night of HS musical for free

"We are thrilled to have the residents of Bayview and Oakview volunteering in La Porte ISD, said Dr. Walter Jackson, superintendent. “Our students are benefiting from their wealth of life experiences, their kindness and generosity, and their desire to continue to make a difference in the lives of young people.” Ultimately, he said, it’s about connection. “Connecting the generations in our schools not only brings additional caring adults into our school community, but also enhances the educational process as they share their wisdom and talents with our children."   Goode agreed. “There’s something special when older adults and children are able to come together,” she said. “They help one another to thrive in ways they probably don’t envision going into the collaboration. It’s been incredible to watch.”

While the seniors have spent time at the schools, students are also making time to visit Bayview and Oakview. "It was fun seeing the different pumpkins,” said Lincoln Swor, a third grader at La Porte Elementary who visited last October for some Halloween fun. “I liked to hang out with the people there. They were funny and nice and kind.”


Written by Jeff Bell

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