The Foster Grandparent Program is celebrating its 50th Anniversary this year as foster grandparents from across the state gather in Madison for a continuing education conference. RSVP’s Foster Grandparents volunteers, age 55 and over, tutor and mentor children in local schools and community-based organizations like Head Start. They are consistent, caring role models providing one-on-one adult attention. Put simply, they provide the kind of unconditional love that sets a child on a path to a secure future.
The program has benefits for its volunteers, as well. One foster grandparent comments, “Since I’ve been working at the school, I have a new enjoyment in life. I look forward to every day I’m at the school with the kids.”
The Foster Grandparent program was launched nationally in 1965 and now has over 30,000 volunteers across the United States. It began in Dane County in 1999, as part of the Senior Core Division of the Corporation for National and Community Service. Today there are 14 Foster Grandparents who each devote 15-40 hours per week to help Dane County’s children thrive.
Foster Grandparents from across Wisconsin will be coming together in Madison, May 20-21, to mark the anniversary and participate in continuing education in child development, approaches to literacy, personal skill development and motivation. The gathering will honor and celebrate how these one-on-one pairings between grandparents and students offer the struggling reader or disruptive student the extra attention they need to succeed—and along the way build bridges across generations. A win-win for the students, the teachers, the programs and the volunteers! If you are interested in more information about the Foster Grandparent Program, call Akeem Torres, 608-441-7894 or email .