Happy November 🍂: Check Out What S.A.G.E. Has Been Up To!

S.A.G.E.'s 25th Anniversary 🎉: A Letter from our Founder

"In the fast-paced world we live in, often two parents work outside the home to help support the family, and grandparents do not live close by. For many reasons, the intergenerational connections and experiences that we used to take for granted are now often limited and rare.

As a child some of my fondest memories are of the times spent with my grandparents, Harry and Pauline. I was fascinated as I listened to the stories of their lives and their experiences. What I didn’t fully understand at the time was how much their stories influenced me and helped positively shape my path through life.

What better way to learn about history and life lessons than from one who experienced it?

As a former teacher, and a daughter of a teacher an idea began to take shape, bringing the generations together for their mutual benefit. With the support and encouragement of the school board and the Superintendent I began to bring these “sages” into the schools to help impact the youth, the staff, and the seniors alike. And so, S.A.G.E. was born.

Officially launched in November 1999 with the support of the Council Rock School District in the northern suburbs of Philadelphia. Senior Adults for Greater Education, S.A.G.E., is devoted to uniting youth and seniors in their quest to enrich education and leave a legacy for future generations.

Our reach and impact has grown over the past 25 years and my hope is that S.A.G.E. will continue to grow and thrive to help as many children and seniors as possible across the country. I envision “sages” in every community, positively influencing our youth so that life’s lessons can be passed from generation to generation.

I want to say a special thank you to those who make this mission possible daily. Our Board of Directors, our volunteers and our donating partners - many of you were committed to this journey long before any of us knew where it would take us. Thank you, for your continued support, you make us who we are."

May the next 25 years be even more impactful than the first.

Your S.A.G.E. Founder,
Beryl Katz

Event Recaps: Safe Online Practices & Mandated Reporters

Cybersecurity: Tips for Online Shopping
On Sept. 21st, S.A.G.E. hosted a training, Cybersecurity: Tips for Online Shopping, by Mr. George Dillman, Consumer Outreach Specialist. Mr. Dillman shared strategies to keep our information safe online. We spoke about secure sites when making payments, the importance of having unique passwords, and how to check your credit for free! We learned that no one is immune to being compromised by scrupulous online practices.

Thanks Mr. Dillman for an interesting topic. The information you shared will be put to good use as we embark on the holiday shopping season.

Mandated Reporters
On October 10, S.A.G.E. volunteers received a training from Jamie Pfister, MPH from NOVA on Mandated Reporters. She reiterated that all S.A.G.E. volunteers are mandated reporters in Pennsylvania. We talked about different types of abuse as well as recognizing signs of abuse. One statistic that stands out is that 93% of the time the child knows their abuser.

Volunteers are required to report suspected abuse to ChildLine: 1-800-932-0313 or visit www.compass.state.pa.us/cwis

Remember: Resolve any doubt in favor of reporting. You have immunity from liability and your identity is protected.

Events Coming Up

Trauma Informed Education
This training will be held on November 15, at 4 pm via Zoom, hosted by Dr. Joy Klotz, Academic Administrator and Professional Educator. Volunteers will be informed about trauma and its impact. Additionally, they will be provided with practical strategies that can be used in the classroom for working with students who have experienced trauma.

S.A.G.E. Welcomes Lyn Yetto and Jill Major!

S.A.G.E. welcomes new board members, Lyn Yetto and Jill Major!

Ms. Lyn Yetto is a retired English and theater teacher with 36 years of experience in Bucks County Public Schools. During her tenure, Lyn developed and implemented curriculum, coordinated school-wide special programs, and directed and advised extra-curricular theater. Previously, Lyn was a S.A.G.E. volunteer in the Council Rock School District.

With over 20 years of experience, Jill Major has worked for, and with, top Pharma and Consumer Health organizations in leadership roles focused on customer engagement, GTM strategic planning and operational efficiency. Her current endeavor has Jill leading a team accountable for sales enablement, training, communication, and sales technology while supporting over 500 representatives, sales leaders, and solution engineers for a $1B global technology solution business.

Volunteer Spotlight: Nancy Myers (“Miss Fancy Nancy”)

Nancy Myers has been working with various grades since 2019, with a break during the pandemic. Students call her “Miss Fancy Nancy” due to the title of a popular children’s book. Nancy was happy to answer some questions about her experience volunteering with S.A.G.E.!

What motivated you to become a S.A.G.E.?
“Probably not the answer you’re expecting, but I started with RSVP with Marisa when she was a LTS at Blair Mill Elementary. She was transferred to Hallowell and finally Crooked Billet, and those schools use S.A.G.E., so here I am!”

Can you please share some of your personal and professional experiences? How does your volunteer position match your expertise?
“I was a speech/language pathologist with the Philadelphia SD before moving to the Montgomery County IU. I did that itinerant position in K-12 schools for 30 years, and then went into administration as a Special Education supervisor for 10 years at the IU before retiring in 2015. There’s not a huge correlation between my career and what I do with Marisa’s students, I just enjoy the energy I get with the students!”

What is it like being a S.A.G.E.? What do you do? What are some of the things you most enjoy about being a S.A.G.E.?
“I do whatever Marisa asks me to do. Some small group work with Title 1 students, progress monitoring, filing, copying, laminating, reading aloud. I love it all because it’s what is supporting Marisa, and therefore the children.”

What most surprised you about your experience being a S.A.G.E.?
“I started volunteering mainly because after I retired I spent most of my time taking care of my husband who had several surgeries (he’s doing well) and then my mother (who passed at 92 in 2020) and I really needed to see youth and healthy people when I read an article in the weekly newspaper about RSVP (sorry😳)…. Working within a school seemed like a good fit for me.”

What do you feel students learn from having you be a part of their educational experience? What have students taught you?
“I hope the students see me as someone they can feel comfortable working with and happy to give a quick hug. I just want to be viewed as another adult in their world able to help. The kids have taught me that it’s never too late to learn. While watching Marisa (and her 1st grade team) integrate a new reading series, I’ve realized we are lifelong learners even when we don’t want to be!”

What do you most look forward to when you are about to volunteer? What advice do you have for other seniors considering becoming a S.A.G.E.?
“When you retire, it’s important (in my opinion) to continue to have a purpose for getting up in the morning, without an alarm of course! I have grandchildren I periodically care for, but my S.A.G.E. time is rewarding in other ways. It’s a few hours a week when I’m focused on what is going on in my home school district, seeing what great needs there are with our young learners, and helping out a teacher in a small way. I think my time in Marisa’s 1st grade has even given me the confidence to take a short-term substitution position as an SLP with the MCIU 1.5 days a week! So, if you’re thinking about volunteering - just do it!”

Thank You Foundations Community Partnerships!
A big thank you to Foundations Community Partnerships for awarding us a grant. We appreciate your confidence in us and your belief in our mission!

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