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GrandPals

In 1990, fourth grade teacher Mrs. Harriet Douple envisioned her class and their elders at Landis Homes Retirement Community building intergenerational relationships for the benefit of students and seniors alike.  She made that vision a reality by creating GrandPals, an award-winning program that has become an HMS tradition.

Since 1999, the GrandPals program has paired fourth and fifth grade students with residents at Landis Homes in order to foster friendship and learning.  The GrandPals have scheduled activities throughout the school year.  The students and their "pals" correspond through letters, they share knowledge and fun time at the Bible Bee, Landis Homes hosts the HMS students to provide historical perspective through interviews, and the seniors travel to HMS to enjoy the school drama in February.

GrandPals creates an environment "where students learn from their peers and the generations that preceded them" and "develop understanding and appreciation of all persons...through resource persons" as stated in Core Values and Educational Philosophy of HMS.  It teaches HMS students the value of history and culture, improves their writing skills, and encourages them to extend their relationships across generations. 

The cross generational experience GrandPals provides garnered recognition from the Pennsylvania Association on Non-profit Homes for the Aging (PANPHA).  In 2005, PANPHA presented the program with a Distinguished Service Award for Innovation of the Year, noting how the exchange "brings history alive for students and makes the future more genuine for residents."
 
Although Mrs. Douple has passed on, her influence continues to be felt at the school and in the broader HMS community.