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Bridging Generations: The GrandPals Program Debuts at Innisfil's Holy Cross Catholic School

The beloved GrandPals program, which originated in Orangeville, makes its debut at Innisfil's Holy Cross Catholic School. The program fosters connections between older adults and students from grades 5 through 8 through an eight-week storytelling journey, breaking down ageism stereotypes and creating lasting bonds between generations.

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Sakchi Khandelwal
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Bridging Generations: The GrandPals Program Debuts at Innisfil's Holy Cross Catholic School

Bridging Generations: The GrandPals Program Debuts at Innisfil's Holy Cross Catholic School

In a heartwarming initiative that bridges generational gaps, the beloved GrandPals program is poised to make its debut at Innisfil's Holy Cross Catholic School. This ten-year-old tradition, which originated in Orangeville, aims to foster intergenerational connections by pairing older adults with students from grades 5 through 8 for an eight-week storytelling journey.

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The Art of Storytelling: A Bridge Across Generations

The GrandPals program, a beacon of wisdom and warmth, is set to launch at Holy Cross Catholic School in Innisfil. This endeavor, which has already touched countless lives in Orangeville, seeks to forge connections between elementary school students and adults aged 55 and above, affectionately known as GrandPals.

Over the course of eight weeks, students will engage with their assigned GrandPals in an interview-style setting, delving into their life stories and experiences. This unique exchange will culminate in a written assignment and an art project inspired by their interactions, providing a tangible representation of the bond forged between the young and the old.

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Breaking Down Stereotypes, One Story at a Time

The GrandPals program has proven to be a powerful tool in reducing ageism stereotypes, offering students a firsthand glimpse into the rich tapestry of life experiences that their elder counterparts possess. In turn, the GrandPals are provided with a platform to share their stories, imparting wisdom and fostering a sense of purpose and connection.

With the success of the program in Orangeville, the team at CFS Counselling and Wellbeing is eager to expand its reach. Beginning on Feb. 21, they will commence training volunteers, with the ultimate goal of introducing the GrandPals program countywide.

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A Call to Action: Supporting the GrandPals Program

To support the implementation of the GrandPals Program in Canada, donations are being sought in partnership with local organizations. By contributing to this worthy cause, individuals can play a part in fostering intergenerational connections and promoting learning and friendship.

As the GrandPals program prepares to take root in Innisfil's Holy Cross Catholic School, the anticipation is palpable. The journey that lies ahead promises to be one of shared stories, newfound friendships, and a deeper understanding of the world that spans the generations.

In a time where divisions often seem insurmountable, the GrandPals program serves as a reminder that connection and understanding can be found in the most unexpected of places - a shared story, a whisper of wisdom, and the knowledge that we are all part of a larger, interconnected tapestry.

With the expansion of the GrandPals program on the horizon, the future is brimming with possibilities. As the first cohort of students at Holy Cross Catholic School prepare to embark on this journey, they stand on the precipice of a world where age is not a barrier, but a bridge to understanding and friendship.

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