Helping America's Most Vulnerable

Reading Partners: Foster Grandparents Make an Impact

Jan Mayer got involved with Reading Partners through a partner organization called Foster Grandparents. The Foster Grandparent program places individuals 55 or older into local organizations or schools that work with children. “ I moved to Colorado to be my granddaughter’s nanny, and I was doing a lot of sitting around, eating popcorn, and watching TV. A representative from Foster Grandparents came into my building, and from there I got involved with Reading Partners. Reading Partners gives me a reason to get out of the house and contribute to something bigger [than myself].” Jan now tutors around 15 hours a week with Reading Partners, and the students at Trevista will often come up and give “Grandma Jan” random hugs while she’s walking the halls to get her students for Reading Partners.

“For me, the students help keep me young and on my toes. My mindset is, if I can help just one child, I will be happy.” Jan sees the importance of being able to provide a nurturing presence and has also seen the value of younger volunteers like Emily firsthand. “I love seeing younger people get involved and give back. It’s great for them, but it’s also great for the students they work with! They’re young and hip, and our students really relate to them!”

Jan puts it best with her passionate declaration about our work: “Whether you are young or old, – if those of us who can give back to the community don’t do it, who will?” Anyone can support children in their community through Reading Partners. Whether you’ve been out of the workforce for years or are just starting to figure out your career path in high school or college, Reading Partners allows members of the community to provide a life-changing experience to a child. Sign up to provide essential literacy tutoring at a school near you today: readingpartners.org/volunteer.