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Zelda Avery was asked to think of a word that describes how she feels about being a Foster Grandparent or what they think of the program. Avery, a volunteer at Garfield Elementary School, said “funastic!” Alexandria, Carlos, Miltona, Parker’s Prairie, Glenwood, and Brandon/Evansville schools are seeking more volunteers for the program for the coming school year. (Contributed)

Grandparents go back to school

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The senior volunteers of Catholic Charities’ Central Minnesota Foster Grandparent Program (FGP) are ready for school to begin. They will attend training and will soon solidify a start date.

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Foster Grandparents are adults ages 55 or older who volunteer a minimum of 15 hours per week with children in schools, Head Start programs, child care centers and other non-profit agencies. Activities may include helping with class work, reinforcing values and caring for children with special needs.

The volunteers receive a tax-free stipend and mileage reimbursement, but they also receive the benefit of contributing to their communities by helping youth learn and grow. The Foster Grandparents gain the rewards of sharing their personal talents and gifts.

Schools in Alexandria, Carlos, Miltona, Parker’s Prairie, Glenwood, and Brandon/Evansville are requesting more volunteers for the program.

Senior Corps, which is under the direction of the Corporation for National and Community Service, consists of the FGP, the Senior Companion Program, and the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program. The Central Minnesota FGP is sponsored by Catholic Charities of the Diocese of St. Cloud.

For information on the Foster Grandparent Program or to become a Foster Grandparent, call Pat Scherf, FGP area supervisor, at (320) 293-0682.

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