This Week at S.A.G.E.

Meet The S.A.G.E.TM Board

Under the leadership & guidance of Beryl Katz, Founder and Executive Director, and Kathi Sherzer, Associate Director, the S.A.G.E. Board recently expanded, onboarding new members from various fields of expertise that will help the organization grow to help even more communities in need.

For more information on our wonderful Board of Directors, take a look at our About Us page.

Team S.A.G.E. 

In order to keep volunteering in schools an impactful and successful experience, a lot of behind-the-scenes work is done by the S.A.G.E. team. S.A.G.E. has a volunteer board of directors who are dedicated to fulfilling our mission of uniting youth and seniors in an effort to enrich education and leave a legacy for future generations. 

Volunteers have flexibility in terms of where they would like to volunteer and how often. They can choose to join elementary, middle school, or high school classrooms and whether to volunteer multiple times a week or on occasion. Activity interests are also highly considered, as we want to give our volunteers the best experience. Whether their interest lies in preparing students for a spelling bee, or reading to a classroom of students, S.A.G.E. make sure your interests are taken into account. 

Interested in becoming a S.A.G.E. volunteer? Visit our Volunteer Page for more information.

Additionally, S.A.G.E. committees were created by the board in order to organize the most important projects and activities, that will help S.A.G.E. thrive and expand. There are currently three committees:
  • Finance and Funding
  • Operations and Expansion
  • Marketing
There are committee chairs who lead each effort, and the board members join 1-2 committees based on their expertise and area of interest. If you are interested in serving on a S.A.G.E. committee, contact Beryl Katz at (215) 357-2332.

Our New S.A.G.E Website is Live! 🎉

We are excited to announce that we have updated our website to include more resources and information for our volunteers and community members! 

Stay tuned for more upcoming trainings this fall by checking the website!


S.A.G.E. 100+ Club 💯

As a volunteer, you are aware that each school has a S.A.G.E. log-in book in the office when you are signing in and out. This is not only for your safety, but to keep a record of how many hours people contribute. Over time, we began to notice that some volunteers were in schools for over 100 hours in an academic year!

Each hour that our volunteers dedicate towards enriching education in school districts around the country is greatly valued by our S.A.G.E. team. Whether it be 1, 10, or 100 hours, these volunteers are not only assisting youth in classrooms, but they are bridging the gap between the two generations. S.A.G.E. volunteers have created, and are continuing to create, meaningful relationships in the classroom while also offering young students a different teaching perspective. 

This month, we would like to highlight our S.A.G.E. 100+ Club of volunteers who have dedicated over 100 volunteering hours in a single academic year!


Upcoming Events 🗓️

In order for S.A.G.E. to operate, grow, and thrive, each year our Founder's wonderful husband, Kal Katz, hosts a golf tournament that is open to anyone who wants to play. The proceeds of this event go directly towards helping fund our operations. This year, the event will be held at North Hills Country Club in Glenside, PA on Monday, July 18th. Participants will have the opportunity to play 18 holes at this prestigious and private country club, with lunch and dinner. They are also invited to bid on items which have been donated for the auction. If you are interested in playing or donating something for the auction, contact Kal Katz at Mad Golfer: (215) 357-1622.

Event Recaps
Each year S.A.G.E. holds trainings for our volunteers on various topics of interest.  In spite of the pandemic, we were able to virtually host two this past school year.

On Dec 7th, Jamie Pfister, MPH, Training Coordinator for the Prevention and Education Department at the Network of Victim Assistance (NOVA), did a workshop on Vicarious Trauma: Helping People; Helping People. S.A.G.E. volunteers learned what vicarious trauma (often referred to as compassion fatigue) is, and what interventions are helpful to lesson the symptoms of vicarious trauma.

On Feb. 1st, Mr. George Dillman, Consumer Outreach Specialist, PA Dept. of Banking and Securities, did a presentation on How to Avoid Scams.  He shared with us that many people are being scammed out of thousands of dollars daily.  This workshop introduced us to commonly used tactics and what to look for so as not to become victims.

Teacher & Volunteer Spotlight ✨

This week we are highlighting the enjoyable working relationship between Anne Lenicky, 3rd grade teacher at Hillcrest Elementary School and Bernie Cullen, a S.A.G.E. volunteer. 

A word from S.A.G.E. volunteer, Bernie Cullen: 

"I started with S.A.G.E. after retiring from practicing law in 2013. I was spending a lot of time in Mexico, but needed activities here in PA. Somehow, I saw the opportunity to assist teachers in Council Rock schools and became a volunteer. My first project was with Mrs. Todd who had me assist a 6th grade student with a computer project involving MS. The child's uncle suffered from it and she wished to learn more about it. I knew next to nothing and learned quite a bit as we researched it while doing the project. At that time I also did tasks such as hall monitoring for the PSAA tests in April. It was later, probably in 2015 that I began to work with Mrs. Lenicky and have been doing it since, mostly with 3rd grade but one year in 5th, I was excited to do 3rd grade because I had hated memorizing the multiplication tables with my mom when I was that age, and I developed a system whereby I could have a third grade student fill in the entire table himself/herself using addition and skip counting. It starts with a blank grid with 100 squares and I work the child through the process, after which he or she could keep the finished table for reference. While this had little to do with my professional expertise, I found that third grade math was fun to teach even though the curriculum has changed during the time I have been doing this. 

More important than helping with the math problem involves being a role model, particularly as a male in elementary school, a place dominated by women. I try to be consistent, even tempered and reliable, I do many tasks such as copying, lunch counts, handing out materials, reviewing homework and sometime grading exams. Anything to make the teacher's life easier. I am impressed with how much responsibility is involved in teaching at all levels and how much technical skill with computers and smartboards is required to do this job every day. 

I feel good about the fact that most of the students trust me and will come to me with questions or problems. I feel that by assisting the teacher I am enabling her to succeed in getting the lessons across to the students and keeping the classroom entertaining as well as educational.. Nine year olds do not have a huge attention span and often become bored if not kept occupied and I feel as though I help with this issue. I have no children of my own, so it has been a learning experience for well. It structures my days and productively occupies me. 

For those considering becoming a S.A.G.E. I would recommend giving it a try with a particular project or student and see whether the shoe fits, If it does, the volunteer will be gratefully rewarded. I am sure that those who are grandparents have experienced some of this, but I feel blessed that I am able to participate in this program. 

If anyone has questions for me, I will be happy to respond. Thank you for this opportunity."

An interview with Anne Lenicky:

What are some of the logistical benefits for teachers when working with a S.A.G.E.? 
The volunteers act as my "right-hand" man, and assist with any tasks. They are an extra set of eyes on the students, and it makes their learning experience more accessible and fun. 

What are some unexpected benefits you and your students experienced? 
Meaningful friendships are created between students and S.A.G.E. volunteers. Long-term students will even come back to visit their S.A.G.E. volunteers. I have also noticed that S.A.G.E. volunteers help me explain why learning is important for life. 

How does having a SAGE in the classroom enrich education? 
Teachers and students get an intergenerational perspective, which adds depth to the day's lessons and experiences. Students also take something away from a S.A.G.E. volunteer relationship that differs from a teacher-student relationship, where the "I'm grading you!" comes into play.

What are some tips you would share with teachers new to S.A.G.E.? 
Be open and see where it takes you! S.A.G.E. volunteers are very nonjudgemental and they are there to help you and the students. They will become your biggest advocates in the community, and you will undoubtedly make a special friend. Just go for it and get started. 


S.A.G.E. Staff Reads 📖

Our S.A.G.E. staff is dedicated to learning about ageism and how to best support seniors. As a team, we are reading a book titled, Breaking the Age Code: How Your Beliefs About Aging Determine How Long and Well You Live by Becca Levy. This book is guiding S.A.G.E. staff through the world of aging, as we delve into Levy's research and stories that show how age beliefs shape all aspects of our lives. 

See You in September 🌻

If you are interested in becoming a volunteer, we have some good news for you! Volunteer trainings will begin in September. Stay tuned for more information in our next issue. 

Follow Us! 📲

Take a peek at some new and exciting S.A.G.E. content on our InstagramFacebook, and LinkedIn. Like, comment, and hashtag us at #beasage.
Back to blog