Being a JA volunteer is almost always an extremely rewarding experience. Time after time, we hear from volunteers who feel they learned just as much (if not more!) from their students as they taught them. Real, meaningful relationships are being built in this way every day in classrooms all across Lincoln.
That’s why it’s so impressive when one of our community partners finds a way to make the volunteer experience even more special. Legacy Retirement Communities was already a valued friend of JA of Lincoln, but recently they’ve created something exceptional. Staff from all three Legacy locations in Lincoln (The Legacy, Legacy Estates, and Legacy Terrace) agreed to become JA classroom volunteers – but they wouldn’t be alone. Each one of them would team up with a Legacy resident to teach the class. Right now, staff/resident teams from Legacy are teaching 2nd and 3rd grade classes at Clinton, Maxey, and Humann Elementary Schools. By the end of the year, they’ll teach 20 classes, reaching over 500 students.
Greg Joyce of Legacy Retirement Communities says the new program is already a win-win for everyone involved. “It is an amazing opportunity to allow these different generations to work together and grow with one another. Our 80+ year old residents, working with our 20-70+ year old staff teaching 6-12 year old kids is an amazing thing. It really enriches the lives of our residents, our staff and also the kids.”
Like most first-time JA volunteers, many of the Legacy residents were a bit nervous about getting in front of a classroom full of students. But also like most JA volunteers, they found that those jitters went away as soon as they saw how excited the students were about the experience. Joyce says, “Our residents have absolutely loved the opportunity to be in the classroom with the kids. I think they were all a bit reluctant at first, but once they were in the classroom, they just lit up and shined. This is such a great opportunity to allow our residents to continue to have a positive impact on our youth and it also provides our residents with a great feeling of personal accomplishment and purpose.”
Community partners like Legacy Retirement Communities ‐ those who really believe in the JA mission and find innovative ways to make our work mean even more for everyone involved – are truly what make Lincoln such a great place to live and work. There’s no doubt that this new program will create some special moments and meaningful relationships, and we can’t wait to see the magic happen! Thank you, Legacy Retirement Communities!