Ask any teacher and they would most likely say that the most rewarding aspect of teaching is making meaningful connections with students. This is without a doubt an enriching experience, because as a teacher, Glenna was very fortunate to help establish connections between students and senior mentors. As word of the program has spread at Washington Mill, near Mount Vernon, VA, some parents have lobbied to get their children into Orr’s class. Orr has adapted the program to include students as young as those in kindergarten through third grade, the perfect age for judgment free listening to old stories. (Washington Post, For the Young..., 1998)
Over many years, there were a lot of volunteers – parents, seniors, and of course children who were always willing to lend a helping hand. Through this support, Glenna Orr shared her experiences in connecting school-age children and seniors in her first book "Open Minds, Open Hearts A Journey With The Ages", published by VSP Books in 2006. During the same year, Glenna incorporated her efforts (our certificate) and one year later, The Kind Kids Inc was granted a 501(c)3 status, and became a non-profit organization (IRS approval letter). She continued to add to her steadily growing library of books: "Hearts Always Open", "Memories With The Heart", and "Friendships With The Heart". The books work side by side The Kind Kids Organization. All four writings exemplify the learning, the compassion, and the heartfelt experiences that we all as individuals become a part of, as we journey through our lives. We were and are very fortunate to meet hundreds of people and travel to many places to share our own personal experiences, and writings.
The Kind Kids, Inc. was established in 2006. What began more than thirty-five years
ago as a dedicated teaching career has become a lifelong journey. Glenna Orr’s keen
insight into the value of relationships between those at the beginning and the end of
their life journey prompted her dedicated involvement. Orr first established the Intergenerational Program while she taught for the Department of Defense Dependent Schools in Frankfurt, Germany. She has since been able to adjust it at other teaching posts, including Panama and Florida, where her students regularly visited a center for the elderly. She continued the program after her family moved to Arlington. She used to buy all of the necessary craft supplies with her own money, but the children did help and donated as well. Back in Burk Lake Gardens Retirement Center, where Glenna Orr brought kids for years starting back in 1988, Eileen Quinn, the administrator, called the program “absolutely wonderful.” (The Connection, 1992)
Next, we invite you to journey through the past thirty-five plus years of our time spent with individuals that have truly inspired our lives and the lives of so many others. Enjoy the photos and writings!