Operation Grandpals brings generations together in Wareham

Aug 9, 2018

After a busy summer of planning and preparing, Wareham CARE students executed the final phase of Operation Grandpals: a luncheon in the middle school library.

The hands-on service learning project was started by instructor Marie Ferreira who wanted to find a way to bridge the gap between young and old in Wareham.

For the last three months, students in the CARE summer program met with residents from the All-American Assisted Living facility to make crafts, sing-a-long and play games.

These seniors ended up becoming what the students affectionately called their 'Grandpals'.

"They formed really wonderful connections," Ferreira said. "I think it's been a win-win for both generations."

According to Ferreira, it was the students who came up with the idea for the  library luncheon. They had total empowerment as she put it, assembling everything from the menu to the entertainment.

"They knew they had to do a service project," Ferreira said. "And after two class periods of brainstorming, they were so excited for this lunch they could hardly contain it."

"We thought it would be a lot of fun," said seventh grader Robert Sylvia.

With the help of cooking class instructor Kathy Martin, the students made pasta and their own homemade meat sauce with herbs from the Wareham Middle School garden.

They also fashioned placemats, yarn dolls and cookies for the seniors to take home in goodie bags.

"Everything was their idea," Ferreira said. "All I really did was sit back and watch."

During the luncheon, seniors were treated to a magic show by sixth grade student Matthew Ansell and a performance from the CARE musical theater.

"I think the entertainment was the best part," Sylvia said. "But so was sitting and talking with people."

"They've been extremely thoughtful," Ferreira said. "It's amazing to see."