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Tiger Talk: Consider being a Foster Grandparent

Sh-h-h-h-! I know a secret here at school. Is it the great staff? We do have great staff, but that is common knowledge. Is it the great volunteers? That is also well known. Although, we are always looking for more volunteers. (Hint, hint!) The se...

Foster Grandma Joyce Rubitschung is shown with Pine River-Backus student Tiara Crannell.Submitted Photo
Foster Grandma Joyce Rubitschung is shown with Pine River-Backus student Tiara Crannell.Submitted Photo

Sh-h-h-h-! I know a secret here at school.

Is it the great staff? We do have great staff, but that is common knowledge.

Is it the great volunteers? That is also well known. Although, we are always looking for more volunteers. (Hint, hint!)

The secret I know about is ... our grandparents! Ask any elementary student about a "grandma" that they have at school and they will likely go into a detailed description of how the grandparents read with them, help them with their work, tell them stories and give lots of smiles.

When my children write out Valentine's Day cards, they are always insistent about including the grandparents as part of the class list. One daughter, in a very indignant voice, tells me one class gets more "grandma time" than their class does and how they should share grandma better with the rest of the school.

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Let's not keep this program a secret. I want to share how wonderful this program is at our school. Contacting Mar Kuha at 218-547-4626 ormar.kuha@lssmn.org , I found out great information.

The Foster Grandparent Program provides the opportunity for volunteers ages 55 and better to make a lasting difference in the lives of our Minnesota children and youth. Foster Grandparents positively influence our children and youth in a variety of settings, including elementary schools, preschools, shelters, childcare centers and juvenile detention centers.

From striving to prepare children for success in elementary school to mentoring incarcerated teenagers, Foster Grandparent volunteers make a difference in the lives of those they serve.

Benefits include:

• A non-taxable stipend of $2.65 per hour (minimum of 15 hours of service per week to qualify).

• Transportation reimbursement and stipend time off.

• Ongoing training and recognition.

• Accident and liability insurance while volunteering.

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• Possible meal on site.

To qualify as a volunteer:

• You must be 55 or older and in good general health.

• Be flexible and available with the service activity schedule.

• Have dependable transportation available and be willing to travel in the service area.

• Have compassion, patience, flexibility and respect for others.

• Work well with diverse individuals, families, groups and organizations.

So many of you would be wonderful as a Foster Grandparent! It is a proven fact that children thrive having more caring and loving adults in their lives.

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Do you have more knowledge and love to share with our youth? I hope that you do. I know the children at school hope you do!

Let me know if you would like to learn more about the Foster Grandparent Program. Contact Tina Hanneken at 218-587-8325 or Mar Kuha at 218-547-4626 or mar.kuha@lssmn.org .

Related Topics: TIGER TALKPINE RIVERBACKUS
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