Senior citizens and children, though on opposite ends of their life journey, have many things in common. Both might feel lonely or misunderstood, or that their needs and contributions fall outside those of the “movers and shakers” of the community. The Multi-Generational Mentoring program turns these vulnerabilities into strengths by pairing seniors from the Golden Center with students from local elementary schools. The result? Bonds that bring hope and purpose to two generations.
The Multi-Generational Mentoring program, funded by the Mental Health & Recovery Board of Ashland County, pairs seniors who may lack opportunities to be involved in the community with at-risk elementary school youth needing help with their education. During after-school meetings at three different sites (Loudonville Library, Good Shepherd Villa, and Millrun Place), seniors from the Golden Center help students from McMullen, Budd, and Reagan elementary schools complete their homework. Seniors share their wisdom, encouragement, and support. In turn, students offer their mentors a sense of connection and purpose, along with many opportunities for laughter and fun. In fact, sometimes the children form a bond so strong that they refer to their mentor as "Grandma or Grandpa."
This special partnership helps the community thrive. Older adults who feel isolated find purpose and meaning, while children find a role model to look up to. They also learn how to behave around older adults and respect their elders, a value many believe has been lost.
The outcomes for the 2019 Fiscal Year help tell the story:
The Multi-Generational Mentoring program plays a vital role in connecting the community, and it accomplishes this task with funding and support from the Mental Health & Recovery Board of Ashland County.
Want to learn more about the programs we fund? Find out on the list of partner agencies.