Intergenerational Bridges

Impact Area

Support SeniorsTutor/Mentor ChildrenWelcome Immigrants

Volunteer Group Name & URL

Interages

Organization Served & URL

ESOL Students in Montgomery County Public Schools

Project Goal/Description

Intergenerational Bridges has three goals: to help students adjust to life in the United States, to develop students’ English skills, and to boost students’ self-esteem.

Timeline for Planning

Each week the Program Coordinator spends two to three hours per site creating lesson plans for the program.  Volunteers and students are typically given a “menu” of options from which to choose (games to play, books to read, activities to enjoy) with the focus always being on improving the students’ English.

How Many Volunteers

Most sites can accommodate ten volunteer and student pairs, however, if space permits, we can always use additional volunteers. Because we run the program at six schools, we’d like to have 60 – 75 volunteers participate in the program

How Was This Publicized to Recruit Volunteers?

We use many free websites such as Volunteer Match, patch.com, and the Montgomery County Volunteer Center to advertise the opportunity. We also attend community fairs and meetings and advertise in local newspapers in order to get the word out about the program and the need for volunteers.

Required Facilities, Materials & Expenses

Staff time to run the program, materials, snacks, field trips.

Challenges

The number of ESOL students is growing and it is a challenge to recruit enough volunteers who can make a one-year commitment to working with these students.

Group Type

NonprofitSeniors

Strategic Priority Addressed

Children Prepared to Live & Learn

Result

Teachers report students who participate in Intergenerational Bridges show significant improvements in their English, self-esteem, and social skills.

Special Points of Interest

  • Good mentors are good listeners. 
  • Those volunteers who can listen closely to their student and find out what interests him or her will do a good job connecting with their student.
  • Also, variety is the spice of life!
  • The more variety you can offer at each week’s program by providing different materials and activities, the better chance you have of keeping everyone interested and engaged.