GrandMentor Program: Make a Positive Difference and Read a Book to a Child via Skype

Written By: Kim Hong - May• 24•12

SeniorNet recently partnered with GrandMentor, an intergenerational literacy program that offers senior volunteers the opportunity to read and discuss high quality children’s picture books with underserved elementary school children over Skype. This is a quintessential example of the power and influence that seniors can demonstrate in helping our youth and a great way to give back.

The mission of this partnership is to improve reading level/literacy (vocabulary, passage comprehension, story sense, love of reading) for underprivileged students grades K to 3rd through one-on-one reading and mentoring. The program aims to promote healthy aging and senior integration in the community through socially-responsible volunteering.

GrandMentor was formed to address two important issues,  low literacy rates among underserved children in America and seniors in need of meaningful human interaction.

Literacy is a predictor of academic success. One in two Latino and African American 4th graders read below grade level (34% of U.S. 4th graders) (NAEP 2009). Many children lack access to crucial one-to-one reading at home or even at school (Moody et al. 1997).

By 2030 about 1 in every 5 Americans will be 65 years or older and about a third of their life will be spent in retirement. Seniors need to engage in meaningful activities for successful aging and avoidance of isolation/depression.

Watch the video below for more information and if this program sounds like something you’d be interested in, enroll for free today!

The GrandMentor program provides a one-hour training session over the phone.

Requirements include:

  • Age 55+
  • Fluent English
  • Access to computer with Internet
  • Web Camera (for video)
  • Commitment of 45 minutes a week

To enroll, send an email to and register!


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