Foster Grandparents Celebrate 50 years

Yesterday the Volunteers of America Foster Grandparent Program in the Denver area celebrated 50 years of the program serving youth nationwide. What an incredible legacy! The grandparents came decked out in gold attire in honor of the golden anniversary and the "heart of gold" theme. A wonderful lunch, awards, door prizes, and even a special performance by one grandma made the day truly a celebration.

While Foster Grandparents has not been around in Colorado for fifty years, it comes pretty close at 40 years. During yesterday's 50th Anniversary celebration, Volunteers of America recognized grandparents for 1, 5, 10, 15 and even 20 years of service through the Foster Grandparent Program in Colorado. The longest serving Grandparent in Colorado is Grandma Ollie who has volunteered for 24 years. These are truly some of the most dedicated volunteers who love what they do and take their mission of helping children succeed very seriously.

Foster Grandparent volunteers are matched up with at-risk children and youth where they build relationships with the students, teachers, and parents while acting as a role model in the classroom. The grandparents help ensure students' success by offering individualized attention, primarily in reading and math.

During yesterday's celebration, I had the pleasure of sitting by Grandma Peggy during lunch. She described to me the special connection that she has made with the teacher she works with. As a former teacher herself, Grandma Peggy said she is really able to support her teacher and they work together as a team. Recently when her teacher moved schools, Grandma Peggy came with her! Grandma Peggy is just one of the many foster grandparents that are making a difference not just in the lives of the students but also in the community as a whole.

This past year, Foster Grandparents in Colorado served 2,978 children in 65 different schools, Head Starts, and other educations programs. Altogether, the Foster Grandparents have volunteered more than 75,000 hours working with young people in Colorado over the last year. The Foster Grandparents Program is a program of the Corporation for National and Community Service and is sponsored in the seven county Denver area by Volunteers of America. To find out more about the Volunteers of America Foster Grandparent Program, visit the Foster Grandparent page.