Rep. Kind Congratulates Wisconsin Organizations on Receiving Foster Grandparent Program Grants
Today, U.S. Rep. Ron Kind congratulated Cooperative Educational Service Agency 10, Workforce Connections, Aging and Disability Resource Center of Portage County, and Southwestern Wisconsin Community Action Programs, Inc. on receiving federal grants to support their Foster Grandparent Program. The Foster Grandparent Program helps Wisconsin seniors stay active by volunteering to mentor local children and teens.
“The Foster Grandparent Program offers a valuable opportunity for Wisconsin seniors to share their knowledge and wisdom with the younger generation. With this grant Cooperative Educational Service Agency 10, Workforce Connections, Aging and Disability Resource Center of Portage County, and Southwestern Wisconsin Community Action Programs can continue to foster mentorships between local seniors and students,” said Rep. Kind.
“The ADRC is pleased to be able to continue offering the Foster Grandparent Program. We are especially excited that we can now grow this wonderful program in Portage County. Foster Grandparents is one of those programs that is a win/win for the community. It is truly an intergenerational gem that helps both low-income seniors and school children,” said the Aging and Disability Resource Center of Portage County.
“Our Southwestern Wisconsin Community Action Program Foster Grandparent Program has very successfully linked up seniors who have the desire and skills to help children in many schools who need one on one assistance in our current counties (Grant, Iowa, Crawford, Richland, Lafayette, Green) for many years. In those years hundreds of children and foster grandparents have been helped with this program and I am very glad and excited to hear the program will now be made available in additional counties (Vernon and Sauk) and schools,” said Walter Orzechowski, Executive Director of Southwestern Community Action Program.
“Workforce Connections is excited to work in area schools with Foster Grandparents who have a desire to share their knowledge and compassion with children to improve their educational experience. This program will provide a valuable connection between the generations so they can teach each other and impact the community!” said Workforce Connections.
“The funding received from the Corporation for National and Community Service will allow CESA 10 to continue this intergenerational program that has been in existence for 51 years. CESA 10 currently has forty-five Foster Grandparent volunteers serving in sixteen school districts in west central Wisconsin. The Foster Grandparents are matched, by teachers, with students who have special education needs or who are falling significantly behind their peers. During the 2015-16 school year alone, these forty-five volunteers spent more than 34,000 hours serving 228 students directly and many more indirectly: reading, solving math problems, practicing life skills, listening, guiding, mentoring and bonding. The impact that Foster Grandparent volunteers make in CESA 10 schools every day is immeasurable. Teachers, administrators, parents, and students are deeply grateful for their service,” said Mary Jo Hanson, Program Coordinator at CESA 10.
In October of 2016, Center for National Community Service’s Senior Corps issued a Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) for organizations in Wisconsin to apply to administer Foster Grandparent programs in select geographic areas in the state. Ten new organizations were selected to be awarded grants that, together, total $1,461.211 in funding to the state.