Foster Grandparents in need of volunteers

SPARKS, Nev. (KOLO) - Foster Grandparents is in need of volunteers. The volunteers participate in reading, playing, and helping out teachers in classrooms.

This program is also beneficial for seniors to stay mentally and physically active by contributing their experience and wisdom within the community.

Currently the program has about 80 volunteers in our area. It says their numbers have been down for the last two years. The program wants to have at least 100 volunteers.

The program’s Volunteer Coordinator Sheri Brown said, “I think it’s been a lot of things, I think it’s the economic situation that we have here right now. I had a lot of folks that had to leave that moved out of state, living with their children, you know there’s been health reasons things like that.”

Schools that work closely with the volunteers said their presence is felt and needed. University of Nevada Reno’s Director of the Child Family Research Center Sherry Waugh said, “Intergenerational relationships are a real strength of any program.”

Waugh added, “People do not always have the benefit of having grandparents in their own area. And so they really bond with these foster grandparents as if they were their own.”

Officials said the school, daycares, and groups the volunteers work with are always asking for more help. Volunteer Zanni Rolich said she loves giving back to the kids. She’s been with the program for the last four years.

“It’s the best thing, part of the best thing is seeing those grandmas and grandpas who are even older than I am, in the classroom and doing stuff all the time I think it keeps you young,” Rolich said.

She added, “And then the rest of it is the kids, nothing makes you feel better than kids that love you.”

To volunteer you have to be 55 and older. For more information you can visit Foster Grandparents’ website.

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