School District Establishes Senior Outreach Program

The Londonderry School District is collaborating with the Town’s Senior Affairs Department to offer a variety of programs and events for the community’s growing senior population.

“We think this would have a mutual benefit for our kids and the seniors,” Superintendent Nate Greenberg told the School Board at its April 5 meeting.

In a letter the District plans to send to residents, Senior Affairs Director Cathy Blash and Greenberg write that “there are many opportunities for seniors and school children to connect on a fun, yet meaningful level.”

Greenberg told the Board he wants to bring the community into the schools for programs and events that cater to residents who are age 55 and older, such as a “Technology Fair,” at which students would teach local seniors how to better navigate their smart phones and iPads; or free “Londonderry Senior” passes to any concert or event at the schools.

Additionally, Greenburg suggested opening the high school on cold weekend mornings to allow the seniors to get exercise in a warm, safe environment, while also having the opportunity to see what’s going on in the school.

“There are many seniors moving into town who have not had contact with our schools and a major part of their tax bill is the schools,” Greenberg said. “We would like to have the opportunity to provide some services to them and have them share their experiences with us and get involved in the schools. This could be a powerful initiative for us that benefits the entire community.”

“I love this. We have talked about this for a long time, a way to reach out and embrace this wonderful resource in our community and offer some services and have this segment of the population be involved in the schools,” Chairman Nancy Hendricks said

“We believe the schools are part of the community and we should engage the entire community and provide services where we can,” Greenberg said. “And at the same time, if they have skills or services they can provide, we would love to have them, too. I think this could be an exciting part of the community and what we do.”

Member Steve Young noted the School District has participated in a number of events for seniors, such as the Senior Dinner, Old Home Day Senior Night and the Pay It Forward Club’s annual Veterans’ Breakfast.

Greenberg said the new programs will be an enhancement of ongoing efforts to facilitate senior engagement in the schools.

Member Dan Lekas, who served for seven years on the Senior Resources Committee, said the seniors involved in the programs could share their wisdom and experience with students in a meaningful way.

“I’m ecstatic,” member Jennifer Ganem said. “It would be great if we could get the seniors and kids engaged with one another more.”

Greenberg and Blash plan to distribute to seniors in town a letter detailing the new initiative with a brief survey seeking input on the types of programs seniors would like to see the District offer.

“We are excited to augment our programs and open the doors of our school system for all of you to take advantage of the exciting events and offerings we can create with you in mind,” Greenberg and Blash wrote in their letter.

The District plans to mail the letter and survey to residents in the coming weeks.

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