Ashby Ponds Kicks Off Third Year of Adopt-a-Grandparent Program at Farmwell Station Middle School

September 19, 2013

(Ashburn, Va.) - On September 18, more than a dozen residents at Ashby Ponds spent the afternoon with twenty middle school students from Farmwell Station Middle School.  The Adopt-a-Grandparent partnership between the school and Ashby Ponds is now in its third year of creating intergenerational memories.  All of the student participants are in grades 6-8, and are members of the school's Leos, Nanas, and Papas Club, a program designed to provide opportunities for students to contribute to and be responsible members of the greater community. 
The Adopt-a-Grandparent group meets once per month during the school year at the Farmwell Station school library; Community Resources Manager at Ashby Ponds, Elisabeth Longworth, helps to coordinate the visits with the school.
"Our most popular meetings are those that engage the children in conversations with the grandparents," says Longworth. "We do not assign students to a particular grandparent, but relationships form quickly and many of the students go back to the same person each time."
Repeat volunteer grandparent from Ashby Ponds, Pat Hemmer, attended the first meeting of the school year this week, and enjoyed learning what she had in common with the children.  "We didn't have the same taste in television shows or music," said Hemmer.  "But we agreed on our love of chocolate-anything!"
Many of the Ashby Ponds residents who participate in the program were formerly employed in schools as teachers, school librarians, or otherwise worked with children over the years.  Volunteer grandparent, Nancy Oliphant, was an elementary school and early childhood teacher for over 30 years. 
"The kids are so bubbly and exciting," said Oliphant.  "Each time we meet, we do different activities. We talk, play games, and last year, we made Valentine's for members of the military." 
The next Adopt-a-Grandparent meeting is scheduled for October 16.
About Ashby Ponds: Ashby Ponds, one of 16 retirement communities managed by Erickson Living, is situated on a scenic 132-acre campus in Ashburn, Virginia (approximately 30 miles west of Washington, D.C.). The community is home to over 725 residents and has over 120 resident-run and resident-driven clubs and groups, an indoor pool, a fitness club, transportation services, 24-hour security, and flexible dining options. More information about Ashby Ponds can be found at