Senior Adults for a Greater Education

(S.A.G.E.)™ matches community members, aged 55 and better, with exciting volunteer opportunities within their local school districts – weekly positions, one-time events and specialized extracurricular activities. Through these educational collaborations, S.A.G.E helps to bridge the generation gap and which provides both seniors and students new perspectives, building cohesive and stronger communities. Today, S.A.G.E. has a dynamic volunteer corps that reaches over 5,000 students annually in our member districts which include Council Rock, Bensalem, Hatboro-Horsham, New Hope Solebury and Saint Andrew.

S.A.G.E. is devoted to uniting youth and seniors in an effort to enrich education and leave a legacy for future generations.

Tweet, Tweet! Hallowell Elementary's principal is as excited as we are about the S.A.G.E. volunteers in his classrooms. Check out his tweets here and here.

Volunteers

Senior residents are an often untapped resource in a community. Offering the benefit of lifetimes of experience – and the time to share it – the contributions that the senior community can make are enormous. By involving seniors in the educational community, districts that have participated in the S.A.G.E. program have seen great improvement in how their communities interact. A mutual respect among generations is cultivated, with district and education-related issues being supported by the senior community – including the often hot-button budget issues.

A survey of S.A.G.E. volunteers demonstrated that the vast majority believed their experience has helped them develop closer relationships with their schools and communities.

Seniors who volunteer report being happier and healthier - increasing mental acuity and physical capabilities and increasing their sense of involvement and fellowship. Our organization works hard to meet the placement requests from volunteers excited to contribute their time and effort to support education within the community.

The S.A.G.E. program: Imparts an improved sense of worth & value
  • Gives seniors the ability to share knowledge and experiences
  • Increases involvement and awareness from seniors in the school district
  • Facilitates community collaboration and cooperative problem solving
  • Promotes an appreciation for rich cultural heritages, traditions and stories

You tell us! The diversity in experience from which our volunteers come is vast – and impressive. And the ways in which they have become involved are just as varied. If you are interested in becoming a S.A.G.E. volunteer, our passionate and dedicated staff will find the perfect volunteer position for you.

Teachers

An extra pair of hands in the classroom is just one of the many benefits S.A.G.E. can provide.

From allowing you the flexibility to devote special attention to the students who need it, to offering one-on-one support themselves, S.A.G.E. volunteers will help create an environment of individual learning in the classrooms they visit. Our volunteers are also a unique resource. Having come to us with professional and personal experiences that span a variety of different areas of expertise, they are equipped with the knowledge that can help bring lesson plans to life – with special presentations, lecture series and hands-on demonstrations.

Our in-depth matching process, which takes into consideration both the teachers’ requests as well as the seniors’, has consistently created mutually beneficial relationships. Nearly every teacher who has participated in the program not only requests to participate year after year, but also requests that they be matched with the same volunteer.

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The S.A.G.E. program:
  • Decreases stereotypes of seniors
  • Provides additional positive, supportive role models
  • Increases awareness of career options
  • Provides opportunities to enhance social skills
  • Creates problem solving opportunities
  • Fosters positive social behavior
  • Improves academic performance
  • Heightens historical awareness
  • Helps students connect with their community

Students

Our senior volunteers are committed to enhancing students’ educational experience, both in the classroom and beyond. Students who have been involved in the S.A.G.E. program have not only demonstrated increased academic performance, but also shared that they’ve developed a more positive attitude towards, and acceptance for, the older generation. And the feeling is mutual. Our senior volunteers have expressed a greater appreciation for the younger generation – creating communities of mutual respect and cooperation.

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How it works

The variety of volunteer opportunities that S.A.G.E. facilitates makes it easy for our program to be adapted into any school system. Regularly scheduled, weekly in-classroom assistance is our most commonly requested volunteer position. These volunteers are placed in a classroom for the period of a school year and provide an extra set of hands, eyes and ears to their partner teachers. More often than not, these teacher/volunteer relationships continue year-to-year as the relationship grows.

Volunteers with a particular area of expertise or interest are able to participate on an episodic basis – assisting in specialized events, like a spelling bee or science fair or lending their unique knowledge to lesson plans and lectures. The wealth of experiences (link to list of volunteer experiences) that our volunteers bring to the S.A.G.E. program is what makes it so unique and effective.

Other volunteers prefer to assist with extra-curricular clubs and activities, offering to share their talents and hobbies with the students – from Scrabble and chess to knitting and gardening – our volunteers open up new worlds to the students with whom they work.

Get started

Kickoff Meeting

We’ll help you conduct an info session for teachers & building administrators to review the program and to answer questions.

VOLUNTEER RECRUITING

Your local newspaper and community newsletters will be used to announce the program. We’ll then hold a breakfast to answer any questions the senior volunteers may have.

Background checks & screenings

Each senior who is interested in becoming involved with the program will be screened. (Some school systems may wish to handle this process internally.)

VOLUNTEER MATCHING

Our process is one that we have developed – and continue to improve – during more than a decade of operation.

PARENT COMMUNICATION

We will provide you with a letter to send home to your students’ parents, introducing them to the program and to the volunteer who will be interacting with their children.

ONGOING SUPPORT

Once you’re up and running, we’ll be here to answer questions, match new volunteers and keep in contact with the seniors and staff to make sure everything is running smoothly.

Pricing

We provide participating districts with over $218,000 annually in value, based on the US Independent Sector statistic for the value of the volunteer hour. 

We have worked to keep the overhead costs low by employing just one full-time staff member and relying on a volunteer board of directors.

First year costs $2,000 district fee $2,000 per school fee Continuing costs $2,000 district fee $500 per school fee What you get:
  • Initial program set-up (recruitment support, staff education, volunteer education)
  • Insurance
  • Screening for all senior volunteers
  • Volunteer matching (at the start of the school year, and throughout as needed)
  • Program development
  • Ongoing support

Support SAGE

There are no causes more worthy than education, community and tolerance. By supporting Senior Adults for Greater Education, you will be supporting all three. The seniors who volunteer in the schools make lifelong impacts on the children in their classes, both academically and socially. By breaking down the barriers that exist between generations, and creating a venue through which the generations can interact and learn from each other, the possibilities for success and lifelong learning are endless. Your contribution will help ensure that these opportunities are available for students and seniors.

How Organizations Can Fund

Gifts of Cash:These may take the form of one-time donations or outright pledges. Outright pledges with payments extended over an agreed length of time are encouraged as the easiest way to support our non-profit organization.

Gifts of Assets: (e.g. Stocks, Real Estate, Retirement Plans): Designating the organization as a beneficiary of a Retirement Plan such as an IRA, Keogh, or 401K, enables you to maximize your support while presenting unique tax advantages.

Bequests: The simplest and most flexible deferred giving vehicle enables you to provide for (the charity) in your will.

Gifts of Life Insurance: Premium payments can be completely tax deductible for life insurance policies designating (the organization) as the beneficiary. Tax benefits are also associated with gifts of paid-up life insurance policies.

Income Producing Trusts: You may choose to make a donation and retain an income-interest for the rest of your life or a period of years. These donations offer several tax benefits while ultimately building our organization’s endowment fund.

Make a Donation Nowhow

About

Senior Adults for Greater Education is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization with a mission to unite youth and seniors in an effort to enrich education and leave a legacy for future generations.

For over a decade, we have been perfecting our program – from developing a nearly 100% successful matching process to educating volunteers, teachers, and administrators on how to get the most out of their relationships. Our support staff is here to make sure that volunteers are screened, connected with the opportunities where they will be most successful, and encouraged to provide feedback that will contribute to the success of the program.

Our administrative board of volunteers is constantly pursuing the grant opportunities that allow us to offer our program at a minimal cost to the districts, as we understand the impact of budget constraints. The cost of a volunteer coordinator can be a substantial annual expense. The S.A.G.E. program offers the same service – in addition to our years of experience – at a significantly lower cost to the district.

Executive Director: Beryl Katz

Program Coordinator: Kathi Sherzer

Board of Directors

Benjamin Anderson, CFP President
Vice President - Roster Financial

Staci Anderson Secretary
Creative Director, Managing Partner Letter27

Eric J. Kelly, CPA Treasurer
Senior Manager, Insurance Industry ParenteBeard LLC 

Greg Hartley

Andrea Kakuk

Christine Moran, Ph. D.

Maureen Riley

Kevin Strouse

Michael Sullivan

Andrew Teitelman

Samantha Zirolli

Advisory Board

Former Governor Edward G. Rendell Commonwealth of Pennsylvania

Mayor Joseph DiGirolamo Mayor of Bensalem Township

Mr. Dick Goldberg Director of the Coming of Age Initiative, Temple University

Mr. Gregory Wozniak President and CEO St Mary Medical Center, Langhorne, PA

State Representative John Galloway 140th District Pennsylvania

State Senator Charles McIllhinney 10th District Pennsylvania

Former State Representative David Steil 31st District Pennsylvania