At recent Foster Grandparent Program recognition dinners, foster grandmothers and foster grandfathers were recognized for their service during the 2011-12 school year. Sixty-three foster grandparents served over 65,000 hours in local schools and child care centers. The FGP has been in existence in our area since 1985 and during all those years it was sponsored locally by Lutheran. The program was initiated by President Lyndon Johnson in 1963 as a part of his War on Poverty programming. It has since then continued to demonstrate its value to both our senior citizens and school age children. School districts eagerly welcome foster grandparents as part of their programming.
At each of the three FGP recognition dinners held in the FGP's service area, long serving foster grandparents, those attaining milestone years and newly involved seniors were celebrated for their service. Angela Loughrey, who serves with the Head Start Program at Connections South in Jamestown, was recognized for her 20 years of service with the FGP as was Romayne Greene from Ivers Norton Elementary School in Olean who has served for 16 years. Judith Stark and Marguerite York of Olean were cited for serving for 14 years each.
Margaret Rathbun of Jamestown who serves at Fenner School in Falconer was recognized for attaining a 10-year milestone. Five foster grandparents hit the five-year milestone. They are Nancy Greeley and Beverly Hogan of Olean, Hazel Porter and Della Waterman of Jamestown and Rosietta Thomas of Dunkirk.
Pictured, from left, are Debbie Basile, project director Foster Grandparent Program; Margaret Rathbun, celebrating 10 years as a FGP volunteer; Angela Loughrey, a 20-year FGP honoree; and Bob Terreberry.
The FGP performs ongoing recruitment activities and is currently seeking volunteers to serve beginning in September 2013. Twelve individuals have just completed their inaugural year and are looking forward to returning for year two; Judith Bentkowski-Dylong, Joan Bernett, Bernadine Carlson, Nancy Cleveland, Barbara Colgrove, Patricia Dake, Henrietta Graziano, Jane Hughan, Barbara Price, Virginia Seehausen, Barbara Spire and Brenda Warner were celebrated for their new, solid commitment to the FGP.
The FGP of Lutheran enjoys a vast service area that has embraces the work and commitment of the foster grandparents. Through their time commitment, they have been consistent and effective in their service to the youth of our area. "We love our Foster Grandparents," said Debra Basile, FGP director. "It's a win/win situation for all parties concerned."
For more information on the program, please call 665-5354 or 665-8039.