A group of six dedicated and enthusiastic senior citizens were recently trained as new Foster Grandparents at Potter Elementary School.
These seniors assist teachers by providing tutoring and one-on-one sessions with students who are experiencing difficulties in certain subjects. In addition to providing academic assistance, the volunteers serve as mentors to provide social and emotional support to students.
"I chose to be a Foster Grandparent at Potter to make a difference in the kids' lives and also to be supportive of the teachers. Each of the kids have a different personality and I'm able to assist them in their own way. They can help me as well to give back to them," said Conslee Ray, Foster Grandparent in Ms. Chavis' kindergarten class.
Foster Grandparents are typically from the communities they serve and come from a variety of professions.
Students have responded very well to their foster grandparents according to assistant principal Emily Tirelli. “This program has been so amazing for our students and staff. The kids have a great level of respect for the grandparents. They know they can lean on them for support when they are having a rough day or experiencing challenges with their school work,” said Tirelli.
Currently 80 senior citizens from across Hillsborough County volunteer in classrooms as a part of the “Foster Grandparent” program with Seniors in Service of Tampa Bay.
The program is nationwide and was started in Tampa 50 years ago by then Congressman Sam Gibbons.
Seniors in Service of Tampa Bay, Inc. is recognized for its outstanding ability to engage, manage, and mobilize annually more than 700 volunteers aged 55+ in Hillsborough, Pinellas and Polk counties, meeting the needs of the underserved in our community through collaboration with more than 150 community partners.View Full Album