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Building Bonds Through Books

“I’ve just really been impressed with the relationships my students have built with the grandmas and grandpas.”

The Book Buddies Program at Grace Living Center Jenks 

Building bonds and cherished memories through books is just one of many shared moments between students and their elders throughout the weekday. A nearly two decade long partnership with the Jenks Public Schools has helped bridge the generations through a intergenerational school located inside Grace Living Center Jenks. 

AT LEFT: Book buddies Nancy Reeves and Henry taking part of #ReadAcrossAmerica in honor of Dr. Seuss Day!


The Book Buddies Program at Grace Living Center Jenks works by pairing students each morning with a grandma or grandpa, as the students lovingly refer to them as, to read a book. Not only are they able to talk and share stories and let their imaginations run free, but this time also helps these small students learn more about how to hold a book, turn pages and gain confidence to read aloud. “Book buddies has really helped grow my students as readers because a lot of them now have gotten to where they have the confidence to go and read the book to the residents. This has been really great because there are some residents who can’t see the words so those residents can still come and interact with our students and my students can read to them,” shared Kindergarten teacher Katharine Wilson.

However, it’s just not about books, these special bonds build character within the kindergarteners and pre-K students while helping to bring joy to their elders. “I’ve just really been impressed with the relationships my students have built with the grandmas and grandpas. When we go to do something with them and they’re not there, they’re asking where they are. They are worrying about where they are. They really are really good friends with them and really have a great relationship with them,” shared Wilson.

A similar program, Reading Buddies, is also helping to connect young students and their elders while adding some whimsy to everyday life at The Springs. Now, in its fourth school year, a partnership with the Muskogee Public Schools has helped build many memorable bonds through an intergenerational school located inside The Springs. These positive experiences are not only helping to build character, but memories our elders and their littles will cherish for a lifetime! “It thrills me to see how at the end of life you can still make such a big difference with our students. And, that’s something that will last with our students for the rest of their lives. You know how tolerant they are and just understanding,” shared Benjamin Franklin Stem Academy’s Principal Donna Pillars. 


AT RIGHT: Reading buddies times two with grandfriend Connie Davison at the Springs!