Toledo Public Schools officials announced Friday an expanded partnership between the district and the Area Office on Aging.
The new initiative, the Golden Apple Program, aims to encourage students to volunteer at senior centers around Toledo and to bring more senior citizens into the schools.
Superintendent of Schools Romules Durant said that could mean senior citizens who lived through historically significant events could be brought into classrooms to supplement curriculum information — like history lessons about World War II.
The partnership is key, Mr. Durant said, in building intergenerational relationships, as is done through the “Grandfriend Program.”
Howard Moskowitz, a retired teacher who worked in TPS and Ann Arbor, has volunteered in the Grandfriend Program — where fourth-graders at Whittier Elementary School are paired with a senior from the Eleanor Kahle Senior Center — for four years.
In the year that the student works with the senior, they exchange letters, get together for trips, and, one year, the students hosted a special choir concert for their older pals.
“The seniors love it and the kids love it because they don't have interactions like this,” Mr. Moskowitz said.
During the winter months, the schools will be open to senior citizens who want to walk through the hallways for exercise, Mr. Durant said during a conference at Bowsher High.
The partnership will allow anyone 62 years and up who lives in Toledo to attend athletic events for free.
For admission, seniors will have to show a driver's license or another form of identification, along with proof of residency, at the main entrance of any game.
The school district is also planning a “senior prom” to be chaperoned by students.
“We're going to flip the script on them,” Mr. Durant said.
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