Community Notes: Foster Grandparents eager to get back with the kids
By Jennifer Lantz, Director, Foster Grandparent Program
There is a quote by Nido R. Qubein, “Change brings opportunity.” While this quote is true, sometimes it is not the opportunity one would expect.
Over the last year our Foster Grandparents had the opportunity to watch their schools and day cares shut down due to a nationwide pandemic and they were told to stay at home. They also had the opportunity to welcome a new director for the program in the middle of everything.
There have been many opportunities over the last year for the Foster Grandparents Program, but the one thing that stayed constant is the Grandparents wanted to go back to their sites to see their kids!
Some of the Grandparents were able to go back in the fall at the beginning of the school year while some are still off due to the health risks.
Now there is a light at the end of the tunnel and a few of the Grandparents have already received the first shot of the COVID vaccine and are looking forward to going back to their sites soon.
While it has been a new and scary situation, we are looking forward to the day we can return to our monthly in-service meetings. Drive-thru recognitions, Zoom meetings and phone calls are good but there is nothing better than an in-person meeting and getting to reconnect after months of being isolated from the group.
The Grandparents are excited and counting down the days when masks will not be required and this is just a fading memory.
One of the most important items on the list for this next year is to place more Grandparents and make sure there are enough for all the children who are behind.
Studies show children are behind in their learning and need to catch up after virtual learning. There were many changes for their young minds so we want this to be an opportunity to catch up on their studies and grow from their unique experiences.
There are many opportunities for area residents to become a Foster Grandparent, serving at schools and day care centers in the area.
Grandparents are tutors and mentors for the children and can encourage all the children to do their best in their studies and personal lives.
Many Foster Grandparents find out this is not only an opportunity to help children, but also an opportunity to help themselves. Self-esteem goes up and health issues go down, according to the many who have been asked about their time in the program.
Anyone who is 55 and older and would like to become a Foster Grandparent is asked to contact FGP Director Jennifer Lantz at (641) 257-6327.
Change brings opportunity so go for the opportunity in front of you today! Help the children in your area while changing your life at the same time.