Intergenerational Connections Make a Difference

Dear Parents and Community Members,

Many of you may have attended Friday night’s football game, as we cheered our Dutchmen to victory against Manitowoc Lutheran.  If you were there, you couldn’t have missed the excellent half-time show, where 126 elementary school girls in grades 1-5 entertained the whole crowd.  These girls were picked up from OES at the end of the day on Friday by the high school dance team girls, coached by Jess Prinsen.  While together, they ate a snack, learned an entire routine, ate dinner, and prepped to wow all of their family members at the game.  Although these girls may remember their dance routine over the next few years, I am more confident that they will remember the very important connection they made with their high school dance team leader during their time together.

Our students at OES have many opportunities to learn and grow from a variety of role models across generations.  In addition to the dance camp, our students build relationships with high school tutors during the school day.  We have 16 OHS students who regularly work with students in the classroom, in the lunch room, during early morning study hall, or on the playground.  These students serve as mentors, role models, and coaches, teaching students how to be the best students, friends, and team players they can be.

The Kids Hope USA program is another program that positively influences our students.  Kids Hope provides faithful mentors who regularly meet with students who may be struggling academically, emotionally or socially.  As a result of these on-going relationships with caring adults, teachers notice improvements in attitude, behavior, and academic performance.

Our Lunch Buddy program, coordinated through United Way, provides adult lunch dates to several of our students on a weekly basis.  These lunch dates provide our students an opportunity to connect with adults during down time, including lunch recess.

OES also welcomes other adult volunteers who come into the school to read to students, to assist during recess, or to manage programs such as Cub Scouts, Girl Scouts, and Destination Imagination.

We believe all of these relationships can have impact that is life long, and that these relationships can make a difference in how our students view the world.  Building relationships across generations exposes our students to years of wisdom and teaches them the value of community.  We are so thankful for the variety of adults and high school students that serve our students in special ways.  If you are interested in being a volunteer or mentor in our school, please contact us at 564-2392.

Have a great week!

Ann Steenwyk