Foster grandparent volunteers spend the majority of their service hours in one of three focus areas.
(1) School Readiness — School Readiness involves working with children 3 and 4 years of age. Grandparents assist with such activities as problem solving, following rules and routines, sharing, waiting turns, participation in groups and building self-esteem.
(2) K-12 Success — This focus area involves assisting children in either elementary or middle school. Foster grandparents may work with children on a variety of literacy and mathematical actives including letter/word recognition, phonics and pronunciation, words read correctly per minute, reading comprehension, mathematical reasoning and mathematical computation.
(3) Mentoring — Mentoring involves working with adolescents from 12 to 20 years of age. Focus areas that the adolescents and grandparents work on together include academic performance, accountability, communication, participation in groups, coping skills and self-esteem.
In 2015 alone, foster grandmas and grandpas up and down the valley volunteered over 38,673 hours and over 670 children and adolescents benefited from their service!!!
Would I make a difference volunteering? You most certainly would! Statistics reveal that at the end of last school year, 86% or more of the children and adolescents who worked with a foster grandparent demonstrated either moderate or substantial improvement in at least 2 focus areas. And the impact that you have on these young lives stays with them. Just one example out of countless: One of our foster grandmas was speaking with a young lady in high school recently who she did not recognize. But the young lady recognized Grandma and said, “Grandma, you worked with me in elementary school and I still have all of the stickers that you gave me!”
Teachers also voice their support of the Foster Grandparent Program. “Grandpa is willing to help with anything to help the children be successful … is a great male role model for these kids.” “Grandma is creative in devising more ways to help a child.” “She [Grandma] feels a void they may have at home.”