Intergenerational Programs

Newtown Friends School and Pennswood Village

Pennswood Pals

Pennswood pals are residents from the neighboring Pennswood Village Retirement Community who are matched with a classroom teacher of a specific grade or a special subject area (art, music, science, library, and Spanish) to assist with activities planned by the teacher. Examples of activities our Pennswood pals assist with include: learning centers, reading stories, sharing personal stories and memoirs, helping students edit their writing, listening to students read aloud, and helping to check out and shelve books in the library. Pennswood pals are also invited to special events within the classroom and the school community. Over time, our Pennswood pals develop close relationships with both teachers and students. They have become treasured friends and a valuable resource, enriching our students' academic experiences.

Friday Friends: 6th Grade Community Outreach

Throughout the school year, Sixth Graders travel to Pennswood Village to participate in a variety of programs to foster intergenerational relationships and community outreach. Each year the program opens with an orientation and tour of the Pennswood facilities. The Nursing staff create simulations of what it is like to have limited mobility and impaired vision. Students are challenged to maneuver with walkers and wheel chairs while wearing special eyewear that decreases their peripheral vision. Students also have the opportunity to interview a resident about their experiences growing up and life at Pennswood. Several residents serve on the intergenerational committee at Pennswood and lead activities for our students. Examples of activities offered by residents include: Wii Bowling Tournament, Croquet and Bocce, holiday Sing-a-Long, watercolor painting, wood shop projects, and storytelling. Pennswood staff offer an intergenerational class Zumba and Yoga after the holidays to get both residents and 6th graders up and moving in the new year. Our Sixth Graders also provide service to Pennswood by assisting residents with using various digital tools through Tech Tutoring sessions, and weeding the community gardens each spring. Our friends at Newtown Floral graciously donate their time and materials to assist us with creating beautiful bouquets of flowers, which we give to residents in nursing care to brighten their winter days. Both students and residents benefit from these intergenerational opportunities.

Fifth Grade Lunch Bunch

Once a month a small group of fifth graders accompany me to Pennswood for lunch with Pennswood residents. Several residents bring their lunch to participate in light-hearted conversations with students. They enjoy the energy and enthusiasm of our fifth graders, and we all enjoy intergenerational fellowship. Our lunch concludes with ice cream provided by Pennswood Dining Services...what a treat!
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Halloween Parade

An Annual tradition at NFS, students in grades PreK - 5 parade through the halls of Pennswood to wish everyone a Happy Halloween!

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PreK and Kindergarten Visit Pennswood for Special Events

PreK visits Pennswood each December to help residents trim the Christmas tree. Their trip includes holiday songs, a visit with Santa Claus, and a dance with his elf. As part of their Community Helpers social studies unit in January, Kindergarten students tour the Pennswood kitchen, post office, and beauty salon. PreK studies dinosaurs in February, which culminates in performing dinosaur songs for residents.

Pamela Reifsneider

Newtown Friends School

Intergenerational Liaison to Pennswood Village