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Grandfriends get together

Songs, crafts, and giggles

Created date

February 8th, 2016
Attendees at Grandfriends program event
Attendees at Grandfriends program event

When 45 elementary-age children visit Tallgrass Creek, the energy level is high and the smiles are many. That’s how it is several times a year, when the children and their teachers, participants in an intergenerational program called Grandfriends, show up to spend time with residents.

The children attend Blue River Elementary School in Overland Park, Kans., and the school’s parent-teacher organization funds the students’ transportation and supplies for art projects that residents and children create together. Students also write notes thanking residents when they return to school. 

“There is so much goodness here for our children,” says Mary Foote, a third grade teacher who has been coordinating Grandfriends at Tallgrass Creek with her students since 2007.  “It’s a lesson in compassion, understanding, manners, and history, too, as residents share their own childhood stories.”     

Year-round connections

Children visit their Tallgrass Creek Grandfriends several times a year. 

“For me, it’s a wonderful chance to have rapport with children,” says resident Diana Ritter, who doesn’t have grandchildren. “They’re so well mannered and such fun.”