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GrandPals

GrandPal Frank

Ella Leving • April 11, 2024

GrandPal Frank: Spreading Joy One Fist Bump at a Time

In the heart of our GrandPals sessions, amid the pages turned and stories shared, there exists a moment of pure magic that captures the essence of our intergenerational bond. Meet Frank, a beloved member of our GrandPals family, whose simple gesture of a fist bump has become a symbol of joy and connection for both young and old alike. After each session, as the little munchkins bid farewell and form a line to leave the library, Frank does something truly special. With a sparkle in his eyes and a warmth in his heart, he goes over to each and every child, offering a fist bump that radiates love and affection. It’s a small gesture, but one that holds immeasurable significance in the hearts of those who receive it. What makes Frank’s fist bumps truly remarkable is the genuine excitement they evoke in every little reader. Despite the fleeting moments as they march off to their next class, the sparkle and joy in their eyes are palpable as they eagerly await their turn to exchange a fist bump with Frank. It’s infectious happiness at its finest, filling the room with laughter and warmth. As a witness to these heartwarming exchanges, I find myself unable to resist the allure of Frank’s infectious joy. At forty-eight years old, I too find myself drawn to Frank, eagerly reaching out for a fist bump that symbolizes the bond we share as members of the GrandPals family. In these simple yet profound moments, Frank embodies the spirit of GrandPals — a community built on love, understanding, and the joy of shared experiences. His gestures may seem small, but their impact reverberates far beyond the library walls, leaving an indelible mark on the hearts of all who encounter them. So, here’s to Frank, our GrandPal extraordinaire, whose fist bumps remind us that true happiness lies in the connections we forge and the love we share. May his warmth and kindness continue to inspire us all as we journey together through the pages of life.

MGA, a Master’s in Grandparent Administration
by Frank McBrearity

Upon retiring from business in Connecticut, my wife and I moved to Princeton to be near our daughter’s family with three children. As we departed, I advised everyone that I was moving to Princeton to study for a second master’s degree, an MGA, a Master’s in Grandparent Administration, and a new direction. After arriving, I learned that the most admired programs are offered through the Princeton Senior Resource Center: the “GrandPals” courses at selected elementary schools.

I enrolled in the fall of 2019 and joined Anica and Aranya at a table in the library at Riverside School with several other GandPals. I read and shared important textbooks with two smart and engaging young people, who selected their favorite books and topics for each class. Each class was graded by the number of high-fives at the conclusion. In 2020, I became a “Pen Pal” with Eleanor. Five well-crafted letters were shared in January and February.

Classes were suspended during the COVID interruption, pausing my MGA effort. Classes are now resumed with Walter and Bodie, two bright and talkative young boys. They pick the books for me to read, and we talk together about the topics, our pets, and our favorite sports. I am pursuing my MGA with attention, appreciation, and generosity. Classes now end with many fist-bumps. It is sharing and caring. The many other Grand Pals join me in bringing generations together in the inviting atmosphere of the Riverside School.

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