After months of corresponding by mail, students at Pershing Elementary School got a chance to meet their senior pen pals. Coordinated through the Sacramento County Office of Education's Intergenerational Program, the pen pal project encouraged the exchange of letters between the third graders and residents of the Merrill Gardens senior living community in Sacramento's Greenhaven area.
On June 3, Merrill Gardens hosted a get-together for the children and adults. Merril Gardens General Manager Valerie Barclay, teacher Loy Phelan and Intergenerational Program Coordinator Jan Talbot were interviewed that day by KCRA Channel 3, along with students and seniors. Merrill Gardens resident Lynn King, who spearheaded the project, was also interviewed.
The Intergenerational Program, also known as the Learning-Time Partnership, is operated by SCOE to utilize the talents and knowledge of more than 200 senior citizen volunteers to benefit local elementary school students. Intergenerational volunteers serve as tutors and aides in classrooms at 30 schools in the county. Persons interested in volunteering should call (916) 228-3905 for a free informational pamphlet.