Foster Grandparents Enliven Classroom Learning

POTTSTOWN PA – Kids in the Pottstown classroom where she works call borough resident Regina Hauserman by their given nickname, “Miss Jeanna,” and she doesn’t mind a bit. Hauserman, who relies on a cane for mobility, participates in the Foster Grandparents Program of Montgomery County at YWCA Tri-County Area‘s Early Education Center. Those children inspire here, Hauserman says.

“I’m so happy to be in this fun-filled learning room,” she added.

As volunteer foster grandparents, Hauserman and her colleagues “stay active by helping children and youth in their communities,” according to a media release issued Friday (Jan. 31, 2020) by the Y. They’re placed in elementary school and Head Start classrooms “to provide one-on-one mentoring and academic support that helps children bloom academically and developmentally.”

The activity is as much a revelation for the young learners as it is for the volunteers, Hauserman recently told Early Education Center Senior Director Kathleen Seeley.

“Teachers in the classroom are always making learning fun,” according to Miss Jeanna. “The children have been learning various letters and letter sounds. When the child matches the letter, the student circles the letter. You should see the joy on their face as they circle the letter. Through their fun lesson plans the children’s attention spans have improved greatly.”

The Y hopes to involve even more people like Hauserman, who says her goal is “to instill a love of learning in the students in my classroom.” It’s currently placing Foster Grandparent volunteers throughout the county, and is offering an orientation for incoming volunteers during the week of Feb. 10 at the county Human Services Center, 1430 DeKalb St., Norristown PA.

County residents age 55 and older are eligible to become foster grandparents, and can be placed in schools in their communities to work one-on-one with children who need a little extra help with reading, math, or other subjects. Foster grandparents are asked to volunteer a minimum of 5 hours weekly. In return each receives a non-taxable stipend (if income-eligible), transportation reimbursement,a meal each workday, ongoing training, and recognition for their service.

The program is a part of the federal Corporation for National and Community Service. For more information, or to get involved, call Program Director Ashley Faison at 610-323-1888 Ext. 210 or send her an e-mail at afaison@ywcatricountyarea.org.

Photo from Google Images

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