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Foster grandparents become 'everybody's grandmas'


Students at Eagle View Elementary School in Breezy Point know them as “Grandma Jo” and “Grandma Norma.”

And Jo Smith and Norma Leifeld couldn’t be any happier to have hundreds of new “grandchildren” this school year.

Smith, a Crosslake resident, and Leifeld, who lives in Breezy Point, are the newest foster grandparents at Eagle View, joining longtime foster grandparent volunteers Dave Anderson and Nancy Meinke when school started last September.

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Jodie Tweed
Jodie Tweed has been a staff writer at the Brainerd Dispatch since May 1997, primarily covering education and writing human interest stories. She also took over as HealthWatch editor in the spring of 2010. A graduate of Pequot Lakes High School, she received her bachelor’s degree in mass communications at Bemidji State University and her master’s degree in mass communications at St. Cloud State University. She previously worked as news director at KLKS Radio in Breezy Point and was a media consultant at a Twin Cities public relations firm. She also worked as a staff assistant for the former “Nashville Now” television show on The Nashville Network while attending college in Nashville. She and her husband, Nels, have three daughters, Erika, 17, Madeline, 2, and Beatrice, who was born in April 2011.