Letter to the Editor: Foster Grandparents Cultivate Stronger Communities
To Whom It May Concern,
My name is Patti Krattenmaker and I am the Project Manager for Volunteers of America’s Foster Grandparent Program. I am writing you today to tell you about the Foster Grandparent Program in the Denver Metropolitan area and our need for older Coloradan volunteers.
The Volunteers of America Foster Grandparents are a group of motivated seniors who are living on a low, fixed income, and enjoy working with children. Foster Grandparents volunteer in Early Childhood Education centers, such as preschools, Head Start programs and educational childcare, and public schools, focusing on literacy and numeracy for at-risk children and youth. For their time and volunteer service, the Foster Grandparents receive a non-taxable stipend to supplement their income that does not affect Old Age Pension.
Foster Grandparents feel good about their time spent helping a child succeed as well as bridging the gap between generations. Foster Grandparent service comes at no cost to participating schools and gives students that extra one-on-one attention in the classroom.
Currently, Volunteers of America has openings for Foster Grandparents to join the program. Those 55 or better, with an income under $23,340 for a single person household or under $31,460 for a couple are eligible. Grandparents must devote 15 to 40 hours a week at their schools working with children. Our program also offers grandparents flexibility for paid time off, holidays, and trainings as well as transportation reimbursement.
The goal of our program is to support the community, specifically at-risk children and youth, while also helping seniors meet their social, physical, and financial goals. While the children and seniors clearly benefit from the Foster Grandparents Program, their reach really extends even further out to the teachers, parents, and community as a whole. When our seniors are engaged and active in our communities, everyone benefits.
If you are interested in becoming a Foster Grandparent or have a senior in your life who might be, please contact the Foster Grandparent Program at 303-297-0408 or visit our website at www.voacolorado.org.
Ms. Patti Krattenmaker
Volunteers of America