The Foster Grandparent serving in Chautauqua County were supported by travel assistance funds awarded by the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation (CRCF). Many Foster Grandparents must rely on public transportation to travel to and from their assigned schools, Project Head Starts, or pre-elementary daycare sites, and the CRCF assisted these dedicated individuals. Foster Grandparents are placed to work one-on-one with identified students in need of extra help as directed by their teacher, or site supervisors. Improvements made by the students matched with the Foster Grandparents are substantial as indicated on each student's progress as reported in their individual assignment plans, which demonstrates the power of the presence of an adult within a child's learning environment.
Continual training is a necessity for the Foster Grandparents serving area children. Using funds awarded from the CRCF, the Foster Grandparent Program arranged four hour training sessions during the summer to enhance the skills of the Foster Grandparents. Cheryl Russo, elementary school psychologist at Bemus Point schools, addressed the Foster Grandparents speaking directly about the changes in home environments and society and how it affects the learning process of the children they serve. Her suggestions and guidance offered a new perspective on how to mentor their assigned students. The information was thought-provoking as it initiated many questions and discussions.
The Foster Grandparent Program is most grateful to the CRCF for this opportunity to both educate and transport our volunteers who do so much for Chautauqua County.
From left: Foster Grandparents Joann Marchincin, Angie Loughrey, Josephine Coburn, and Carol Johnson at the inservice training held at First Lutheran Church.