Riley School Students Make Friends At Bishop’s Commons

OSWEGO, NY – Making friends is the goal of the latest intergenerational program at Bishop’s Commons that is bringing Riley School sixth graders together with the seniors who live at the Assistive Living Residence.

Pictured are: new friends, Joshua Simmons and Mary Link.
Pictured are: new friends, Joshua Simmons and Mary Link.

Each student of Jessica Bowman’s class has been paired up with a senior from Bishop’s Commons where they visit while working on writing, reading, listening, and interviewing skills.

Most of all, a connection is made between the two, forming a friendship that is extending outside the monthly visits to the classroom.

“We have seen a great bond between the students and our residents,” noted Senior Living Coordinator Julie Chetney.  “The personal connection is evident in their excitement each month, and many have even visited outside school time with their families.”

The “Making Friends” program is in its first year of bringing students over once a month with specific topics of discussion for interviewing.

Interviews are being gathered in a book format including photos and drawings along the way.

Residents and students will have the booklet at the end of the school year as a keepsake of their newly formed friendship.

“With the students at an age of independence, we are hopeful that we’ll see continued connections through simple visits with their senior friends or volunteer work,” added Chetney.