Generations program helps close gap between two eras

Published 02/27 2013 09:54PM

Updated 02/28 2013 12:23AM

Big Brothers, Big Sisters is testing out a new program aimed at closing the gap between those of a golden era and those born in the 21st century.
This is the first time the Big Brothers, Big Sisters organization has matched senior citizens with kids as part of its new Generations program.
Seniors and kids are screened. go through training and interviewed to make sure the right senior citizen is matched with the right "little".
Jerri Thomas, director of marking for Presbyterian Manor, says it is not common to see kids at the manor but once every two weeks, kids in the Generations program stop by to hang out.
"For the seniors, it's great because they may have grandchildren that they don't get to see very often, or they may have grandchildren that are grown or they may have grandchildren that live out of state. So, it's great for them," Thomas says.
Students from Southern Hills Elementary School have teamed up have been matched up with seniors at the manor.
Thomas says this program will help bridge the gap between the two generations.
"We can learn so much from the seniors," Thomas says. "They are so wise and they've been there and done that and they can contribute so much to a young person."
For seniors like Betty Leveritt, it's time she looks forward to.
Leveritt says, "I love it. We have fun. I love watching the children. They are all very good children. They enjoy what they're able to do."
Whether it's for the company, the snacks, the games or the arts and crafts; everyone involved hopes the program will continue.
Keelan Coit, a "little in the Generations program, encourages everyone to get involved.
"Everyone out there should get their kids to come to Big Brothers, Big Sisters," Coit says. "I would recommend you to go to Big Brothers, Big Sisters because it's the most awesomest place."
Leveritt says she is happy to have to kids come by.
"Just different things they've had to do that they leave in a good mood, having fun and wanting to come back again," Leveritt says.
Thomas says the Generations program has been such a success and hopes other senior citizen communities in Texoma will get involved as well and help it grow.

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