It is the start of a new school year and this year will look different in many ways. There will be stepped-up health measures, smaller class sizes, staggered schedules, remote learning, social distancing and fewer Foster Grandparents.
Each new school year, 50 to 60 Foster Grandparents head out to schools, daycare centers and Head Start centers in Bradford, Sullivan, Susquehanna and Tioga Counties to serve over 200 children with special or exceptional needs. However this year’s COVID-19 guidelines have caused limited service activities for Foster Grandparent volunteers.
The Foster Grandparents will miss seeing the children they serve. There are still ways Foster Grandparents are able to serve their communities while following COVID-19 guidelines, however.
Foster Grandparents are able to serve by; making take-home activities for students, support the preparation and/or delivery of meals to students, support the development of student packets for distance learning, tutor / mentor students virtually or by phone, telephone wellness check-ins with students to focus on the overall well-being of student, telephone wellness check-ins with parents / caregivers to determine what learning resources are needed to support the students virtual learning needs, create video demonstrations, provide life skills lessons, read books with children virtually – engaging with students in discussion questions, and support connection to educational resources for both students and parents.
For more information on the Foster Grandparent Program and other B/S/S/T Area Agency on Aging, Inc. services, call 1-800-982-4346. The B/S/S/T Area Agency on Aging, Inc. is funded in part by the Pennsylvania Department of Aging and the Bradford, Sullivan, Susquehanna, and Tioga County Commissioners.
The Foster Grandparent Program is sponsored by the B/S/S/T Area Agency on Aging, Inc. and federally funded by the Corporation of National Community Service. Finding also provided by the Bradford County United Way, the Susquehanna County United Way, the Lycoming County United Way-Tioga County Fund and the Tioga Downs Regional Community Foundation.