Last night the Community Place held its annual Foster Grandparent & Senior Companion Program Recognition Dinner.
“The Foster Grandparent Program offers older adults ages 55 and up who meet income eligibility requirements the opportunity to assist children enrolled in educational programs at 36 area schools and childcare centers to succeed. Students and teachers both benefit from the wisdom and experience of Foster Grandparents as they work one-on-one and in small groups with children providing academic, social and emotional support, helping children to succeed.”
With the district placing twenty to twenty-five kindergarten students in one class with one teacher, the relief these individuals provide teachers is invaluable. Being able to work with students, one-on-one, or in small groups, help out with field trips, or simply walking students from the classroom to specials or lunch gives the teacher the support necessary to manage the high volume of energy contained within these little ones.
Each day our youngest students are given the opportunity to engage in a positive relationship with an elder in our community in order to gain the educational ground necessary to succeed in the future.
Unfortunately, not every kindergarten teacher has a Foster Grandparent to help them with the enormous and challenging responsibility of trying to educate twice the number of kindergarten children that all research states is detrimental to the educational success of inner city students.
Fortunately, there are programs like the Foster Grandparents program to make up for the inept reasoning of a school board that allows such a travesty to take place.
And, while a representative from Congresswoman Louise Slaughter’s office was available to honor the program participants for their service to the community, neither the superintendent nor the Board felt it necessary to attend or send anyone from the district to do the same.
It is because of programs such as the Foster Grandparent program and the PENCIL program and the Friends of Educational Excellence Partnerships program that our children have any chance of educational success.
To all who work with our children, thank you. Your service is very much appreciated.
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