The Hamilton School District is currently looking for volunteers age 55 and older to participate in the Seniors & Students Program during the upcoming 2023-24 school year.
This program is a long standing tradition in the District. For the past 25 years, it has helped to connect hundreds of local senior citizens with students resulting in intergenerational bonds and a strong connection to the wider Hamilton School District community. Two of the most popular aspects of the program are the Pen Pal Program and Senior Cafes.
Pen Pal Program
The Pen Pal Program pairs every fourth grade student in the district with a senior volunteer. Students and volunteers exchange letters throughout the school year and are invited to meet one another in spring at parties hosted at each elementary school.
Volunteers participating in Senior Cafes visit elementary schools every other week during the school year to spend time with a small group of students in the library or Large Group Area. Students and volunteers spend approximately 30 minutes together, playing board games, reading books or doing crafts. Over the course of the school year, these students often develop bonds with specific volunteers and look forward to their visits.
There are several events held throughout the school year designed specifically for senior volunteers to attend, share their volunteer experiences and create community. The fall kick off event is held at Hamilton High School in October. The American Education Week Breakfast is held at the Hamilton Fine Arts Center in November and an Appreciation Breakfast is held at Lannon Elementary School in spring. Superintendent Paul Mielke, Ph.D. attends each event to speak with senior volunteers about current District happenings and emphasizes the importance of their involvement.
Those interested in participating are asked to fill out an online survey before August 1, 2023. Seniors have the opportunity to select which elementary school they prefer to be involved with and to what extent they are interested in participating in the program.