Intergenerational Learning Partners

Intergenerational Learning Partners

As our name suggests, the Intergenerational Schools are committed to building a multigenerational community of lifelong learners. We foster connections between our K-8 students and older adults within greater Cleveland that grow healthy relationships, help students understand their role within the community from a young age, and advance the academic and emotional well-being of our students. 

What is a Learning Partner? 

At both of our tuition-free schools, students are paired with an older adult from our community. 

Some Learning Partners come to our school to meet 1:1 with students and we also make regular visits to our Learning Partners at local long-term care facilities. 

During their time together, Learning Partners may read a story, play a game or work on a classroom task. They might share ideas, work on a project or solve a math problem. But often, the friendship they build during their time together is just as valuable as the classroom work: 

“It is amazing the change in the students from the beginning of the year to the end of the year–how they have grown! They just want to talk and need someone to listen to them.” 

-Elizabeth Levert, Learning Partner

Learning partners can also help address the individual needs of a student. Whether a child needs extra reading or math time or the attention of a stable, caring adult, we thoughtfully pair students with older adults who can support their learning journey with personal attention and helpful skills. 

Benefits of Learning Partners

Research shows students and elders alike gain a cognitive and emotional boost from the sense of purpose and joy that comes from learning together. Older adults enjoy the opportunity to foster a love of learning and share their wisdom with a younger generation. They report a renewed sense of purpose, acceptance and cognitive stimulation. 

Our K-8 students benefit from getting to know an adult who can offer undivided attention. They can receive support in a specific academic area, boosting their school confidence and increasing their chances of success. 

“I think the greatest gift of the Learning Partner program is the one-on-one time with the students. It gives each child much-needed individual attention, as well as opportunities for recognition for hard work and patience, and gentle, private reteaching and error correction. I have time to ask students to explain their thinking to me with every problem, to listen to that thinking, and to confirm or redirect their thinking. It is not possible for classroom teachers to provide that much individual attention to each student and most students really crave it.”

-Learning Partner Julie Rae at Near West

For students, working together with older adults nurtures strong character and leadership skills. Our students know how to interact with others in positive ways and they understand their responsibility within our greater community. Additionally, our older students gain leadership skills as they act as facilitators during the intergenerational visits. 

Learning together, side by side, empowers both students and older adults to better understand and appreciate their individual contributions to a rich and diverse community. Together, we are building a community that reaches far beyond our school walls. 

We invite you to learn more about the Intergenerational Schools by contacting us to set up a tour. We look forward to meeting you and sharing about our incredible programs and schools in Buckeye and Ohio City


About Intergenerational Schools 

For 25 years, Intergenerational Schools has served the greater Cleveland area with exceptional K-8 academics in a unique multigenerational learning community. We empower a love of learning through a holistic approach that includes personalized learning, enrichment, and healthy and caring relationships. With two neighborhood schools in Buckeye and Ohio City, we’re closing the achievement gap by providing a high-quality, tuition-free education to all. Our award-winning programs build confident, capable students who contribute to our extraordinary community. Get to know Intergenerational Schools today: Where children thrive and community grows.

← 25 Years of Excellence