Foster Grandparents: Creating a Generation of Readers
I have been told that the first few years of retirement are glorious…no commitments, no schedule, and no alarm clock! I have also been told that eventually the desire to make a difference, to be involved in your community and to be needed returns. You can only go to lunch, shopping or visiting so often! If by chance you are looking for a rewarding experience, please consider volunteering with the Penquis Foster Grandparents Program.
The Foster Grandparent Program (FGP), which began in 1965, provides tutors and mentors to children and youth who are disadvantaged or have disabilities. Working one-on-one or in groups and serving between 15 and 40 hours a week, Foster Grandparents provide support in schools, Head Start centers, child care centers and other public and non-profit locations.
Foster Grandparents volunteer with children who are a few months old up to age twenty-one! Foster Grandparents help children learn to read, review school work, provide one- on- one tutoring, share their time and experience; they are a role model, a mentor and a friend. Put simply, they give the kind of comfort and love that sets a child on the path toward a successful future.
Volunteers must be 55 years of age or older and meet income guidelines. Foster Grandparents receive a tax-free stipend, mileage reimbursement to and from the volunteer site, pre-service orientation, training and supplemental accident and liability insurance while on duty.
Volunteering leads to new discoveries and new friends. Studies show that volunteering helps you live longer and promotes a positive outlook on life. This inter-generational program utilizes our only increasing natural resource—seniors—who are assisting our future resource–our children.
“The Foster Grandparent Program has given me a chance to be a part of something bigger than my own little world….an opportunity to use my education to hopefully help children along their way to a strong future. Maybe if I’m fortunate, I can instill in them my love of learning, the beauty of words, the rhythm of mathematics, and the mystery of the future to be figured out by studying the past.”- Foster Grandparent from Brewer Community School
“Foster grandparents are just ordinary people who reach out and take a child’s hand and together make a difference that lasts a lifetime.” – Foster Grandparent from SeDoMoCha School , Dover-Foxcroft.
For more information on the Foster Grandparent Program or to receive an application, please call Maria Staples at 973-3611 or 1-800-215-4942. Penquis administers this program in every county in Maine except York and Cumberland.
Maria Staples is the project coordinator for the Penquis Foster Grandparent Program.
Foster Grandparent Facebook page link: https://www.facebook.com/PenquisHelpingTodayBuildingTomorrow/
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