Happy March! 🌸
Happy spring! S.A.G.E. is happy to announce that we have A LOT of updates for you this month. Keep reading for more details.
S.A.G.E. is a Generations United Program of Distinction! 🎊
S.A.G.E. has been recognized as a Program of Distinction through Generations United! This recognition highlights intergenerational programs that have a passion for connecting older and younger generations.
We are excited to be recognized for our past two decades of fostering intergenerational relationships that can last beyond the classroom.
We Are National Partnership for Student Success Champions! 🏆
We are champions of the National Partnership for Student Success (NPSS), a diverse coalition that connects nonprofits, school districts, state and local education agencies, federal agencies, philanthropy, and national and community organizations to support increased access to and implementation of student support programs, to provide technical assistance and research to enhance program effectiveness, and to help in recruiting AmeriCorps members and volunteers.
All students deserve the opportunities and support they need to succeed. Despite the heroic efforts of schools, educators, and families, the pandemic exacerbated educational and mental health challenges and widened long-standing inequities and opportunity gaps.
To address these challenges, the President has called for Americans to become tutors, mentors, success coaches, post-secondary transition coaches, and wraparound/integrated support providers. In pursuit of this goal, the NPSS focuses on these five key, evidence-based areas to support the needs of students both in and out of school.
Read more about their work and how you can get involved by clicking here: partnershipstudentsuccess.org
An RN “S.A.G.E.” Goes to Kindergarten
One of our amazing volunteers, Marilyn D. Harris, wrote an article about her experience with S.A.G.E.! Take a look at her experiences in the classroom, and why she decides to come back each year in this recent article posted by the American Nurses Association.
Valentine’s Day with S.A.G.E. Scholars! ❤️
S.A.G.E., Council Rock, and local residential facilities bring back our 25-year tradition of creating valentines for seniors! Students at our S.A.G.E. elementary schools show their love for the community by writing heartfelt notes to those residing in senior living communities.
This tradition not only brings smiles to the seniors’ faces, but to the students’ faces as well. We are so proud to be a part of this!
S.A.G.E. Volunteer January Training Event
On January 24th, Dr. Julie Eastburn, District Coordinator for Mathematics in Council Rock, presented a training for S.A.G.E. volunteers. She gave them helpful strategies when working with students in the classroom. We are so fortunate to have the benefit of her experience and expertise!
If you are a volunteer that is looking for training resources and materials, we have a section you can visit on our website with a wide array of training materials and modules!
S.A.G.E. Volunteer Q&A with Vivian DiCristofaro
Q: What motivated you to become a S.A.G.E.?
A: When I retired, I was looking for something that would use my capabilities, support my community and help keep my mind sharp. S.A.G.E. ticked all of those boxes.
Q: Can you please share some of your personal and professional experiences?
A: I have a BS in Mathematics with secondary teaching credentials and a MS in Electrical Engineering. My professional career was spent working as a US Navy civilian
mathematician/engineer on Navigation, Command and Control and Imagery systems. I
have also actively participated with my church youth group including mission work trips as well as other youth related activities, such as scouts.
Q: How does your volunteer position match your expertise?
A: I have a strong math/science background and an interest in working with young people. My volunteer work has allowed me to combine both of those strengths to support our young people.
Q: What is it like being a S.A.G.E.? What do you do?
A: I have worked with S.A.G.E since my retirement in 2010. My first assignment was in the classroom with an 8th grade reading teacher. I worked with small groups or one-on-one with students who were not reading at grade level. Because of my math background, I requested an additional assignment in a math classroom to augment the reading
volunteering that I was already doing. I worked with the reading teacher until her
retirement and still continue to work with the math teacher that I initially began
volunteering under. Based on teacher needs, I have also worked with other middle school math teachers, middle school science, special needs students, and special programs such as elementary science days and high school STEM career fairs.
Q: What are some of the things you most enjoy about being a S.A.G.E.?
A: It is enjoyable to watch the students grasp a new concept and gain confidence in their
abilities. I have formed some wonderful friendships with the teachers that I have
volunteered under. I also like that I continue to gain understanding about how people learn and communicate, and I feel that it sharpens my brain by learning new approaches to communication and problem solving.
Q: What most surprised you about your experience being a S.A.G.E.?
A: I am always surprised by the unique capabilities and needs of the students that I have
worked with. It is understandably challenging to figure out what works to get through to
the students and help them be successful. The devotion and commitment of all of the
teachers that I have worked with continue to awe and inspire me. But I have been
surprised by the unfulfilled need for more specialized resources to support some of the
struggling students that I have encountered.
Q: What do you feel students learn from having you be a part of their educational experience?
A: I bring my own unique communications and problem solving style which sometimes can be helpful to some of the students who are struggling and may not have grasped the concepts in the way that the curriculum presents them. I have the flexibility to work with students one-on-one to help them stay focused and encourage them through areas that they are struggling with.
Q: What have students taught you?
A: Patience and flexibility! I’ve had the opportunity to work with students with different
learning styles and difficulties. It makes me more keenly aware of what some people have to adapt to in order to be successful in life and, hopefully, makes me more tolerant in my everyday dealings with others.
Q: What do you most look forward to when you are about to volunteer?
A: I enjoy challenging my brain to keep up with the mathematical concepts that are being presented. Figuring out which students need the most attention and encouragement and trying to assist in tackling that need gives me a sense of worth. I thoroughly enjoy the camaraderie that has developed with the teachers that I have worked with and look forward to catching up with them each week.
Q: What advice do you have for other seniors considering becoming a S.A.G.E.?
A: There’s a niche for almost anyone within S.A.G.E. It’s worth trying it to see if you like it. If you’re uncertain, there are frequent calls for short term commitments like judging an art show that would give you an opportunity to work with students and teachers before you make a more substantial commitment.
S.A.G.E. Teacher Q&A with Ann Gensbauer from Holland Middle School 💬
Q: What are some of the benefits for teachers when working with a S.A.G.E.?
A: It’s a tremendous benefit to have a second adult/teacher moving around the room to help students. Sometimes it’s a matter of keeping the kids engaged and on-task during the lesson or helping them understand how to get started or how to work through some of the tasks.
It’s also wonderful to have someone with a different personality style and different way of speaking to the kids. Vivian is so very patient and kind, and I think the kids respond well to her. They see that she is willing to explain things and assist them, and I do see that they appreciate her.
Q: What are some unexpected benefits you and your students experienced?
A: Cookies and water ice!!! Vivian enjoys baking and she treats the kids to her famous holiday cookies in December. This year she baked three different kinds and brought enough for each student to taste all three. The kids don’t know this yet, but in June she usually treats them to water ice.
I really enjoy watching the kids respond to this “extra treat," and it gives them the opportunity to show their good manners in properly thanking Vivian. It’s always a great experience.
Q: How does having a S.A.G.E. in the classroom enrich education?
A: When Vivian is in class with us, the students have twice the access to assistance. That is fantastic, as it’s really tough to help many kids all at once. Vivian builds such a good rapport with the students that sometimes I see them raise their hand for her attention if she’s nearby. I love that they feel comfortable seeking out her help.
Additionally, over the years, Vivian has always offered to assist in whatever way I need. When teaching assistants are not available, she will take the students out for “small-group testing.” She offers to rearrange her schedule to come in and help if I need her on a specific day. She really is just fantastic in every way.
Q: What are some tips you would share with teachers new to S.A.G.E?
A: Do it! Don’t hesitate for a minute! I’ve been truly blessed to work with Vivian for about 12 years now, and I’m so appreciative of the assistance she provides for me and the students. I’m also truly appreciative of the friendship we have enjoyed these dozen or so years.
What Do Students Love About Volunteer Vivian DiCristofaro? 📚
What’s the best part about having Mrs. D in your classroom?
“She is helpful, kind, patient, really nice and smart.”
“She’s always there to help me understand things better.”
“She can help me if I’m confused while the teacher is teaching the lesson.”
“She is super nice and really explains things well.”
“She made us cookies!”
What would you tell other students about the assistance Mrs. D provides in the classroom?
“She loves to make us feel welcomed. It’s awesome!”
“If you’re confused about anything, just ask her and she’ll help you.”
“She cares about all the students.”
“She baked us really good cookies!”
What do you most look forward to about the days Mrs. D comes in to work with the class?
“Mrs. D. always says “good job” or “well done” when she checks our homework.”
“If I need extra help, she’ll be able to help me.”
“I’m understanding things better because of her help.”
S.A.G.E. Volunteer Spotlight ⭐
We asked Mr. Harry Niemann about his S.A.G.E. experience as a volunteer. He has been with S.A.G.E. for over 23 years!
“I joined SAGE 23 years ago as a volunteer and I love it. I mainly work with first graders, and there are usually 7-8 kids who need my help. By the time the school year is over, they are different people, totally transformed.
This past Veteran’s Day I went to Council Rock South High School and it was a rev for me. The kids were positive, attentive and they seemed to appreciate that the veterans were there and the chance to hear our story.
It was an unbelievably positive experience. It changed my perspective of these young people's perspectives of me, my perception of them, and even my perspective of myself all for the better. And I can’t wait to do it again next year!
With S.A.G.E., the teachers win, the seniors win, the students win, and the taxpayers win because the schools are more efficient.
Finding S.A.G.E. was a home run for me and has helped me stay young in my thinking.”
Thank You Nights 4 Knowledge Volunteers! 📓
Nights 4 Knowledge, a Math program recently approved by Council Rock leadership to assist grades 3-8 students who suffered post-pandemic learning loss, asked for help. S.A.G.E. answered the call!
Thank you to all of our volunteers who chose to participate in this program! We are proud to help out the community and connect students with our wonderful volunteers.
April Volunteer Appreciation Event 🤝
Celebrate Volunteer Appreciation Week with us! Join us on April 20, 2023 from 3:30pm-6:30pm for our Volunteer Appreciation event to thank our volunteers and their teacher partners for all they do. Invites will be sent soon!
S.A.G.E. Is Hiring!
S.A.G.E. is looking for someone to assume the position of matching potential volunteers with teacher partners! This position requires excellent listening, communication, and organization skills. The individual also must be enthusiastic, eager to learn, and have a natural curiosity, along with being competent in Microsoft Word, Google Excel, and Zoom. This paid position is for approximately 10-15 hours a week, and the work is done predominantly from the comfort of your own home.
If you are interested, Contact S.A.G.E. Founder Beryl Katz at 215-357-2332 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Donate to Help Support Our Mission!
Our board aims to continue sparking unique and meaningful intergenerational relationships every single day. Your generosity provides us with the tools to expand this mission.
To make a one-time or monthly donation, visit the donation page on our website.
Volunteers: Share Your Story on Our Website! 💻
And that's a wrap! 2022 is over, but we'd love to hear about your S.A.G.E. experiences over the last year. Share your volunteer story with us on our website!