Q: I am no longer working full time and am looking for a way to help others. I also could use a little extra money but am nervous about going back to work.
A: Many individuals have looked forward to the free time and the many opportunities retirement presents to them. There are many ways to help others or give back. Today I will offer an opportunity to help the children in our community.
I have talked about this program many times and can't say enough good about all they do in our community.
This is a program available to individuals, who are income eligible, and enjoy working with children. These individuals are age 55 and older, and work in the classrooms, daycare centers, Head Start and after school programs.
Income eligible guidelines are higher than you might think, (income of $22,240 for a single person or $31,600 for a couple). Individuals who qualify receive a stipend to help compensate for their time and costs associated with this position. This stipend does not impact your existing entitlement programs. Individuals who feel they make more than the income guidelines allow can subtract any medical expenses from their income to help meet this eligibility requirement.
This program provides an opportunity for an older experienced individual to work with our children in their classrooms and learning centers. It allows this adult to give extra attention and assistance to one or two children who would benefit from this added support. The teacher in this classroom also benefits by having the added support and supervision for the child in her classroom that needs the extra attention to succeed.
In most cases, you can set your own schedule working from 15 to 40 hours per week in the setting that works the best for you. You can work year round or just during the school year. There are many locations to choose from.
While working, you will earn a stipend as described above. This will help to offset the expenses of working and help to compensate you for your time given to the children in our community.
This program is called the Foster Grandparent Program (FGP). Their office is on the Lutheran Campus at 715 Falconer St. and is located in the Administrative Building ("D" Building) closest to the Corner of Falconer Street and Aldren Avenue. The administrative building is on your left as you turn on to Aldren Avenue.
Don't be put off by the name, you are not adopting these children or taking them home with you. You are providing additional assistance and supervision in their classrooms or day care settings. You will have a set schedule that works for you and your partnering teacher. You will have an assigned child to work with. Your skills and patience will make that learning experience so much better for that child.
The word foster means to promote the growth or development of; to encourage. Isn't that what we all want to do? Encourage someone to be their best? This Foster Grandparent Program can do that for you, and the child you help.
To contact the Foster Grandparent Program call 665-5354 for Chautauqua, Cattaraugus and Allegany counties. The staff is eager to work with you to find a site where you are needed, and make a difference in a child's life.
Keeping active and engaged helps us to stay healthy and feeling young. We also know that sitting around and not feeling needed is hard on our emotional state. As human beings we thrive when we have contact with others.
Enjoy your time and thanks for asking how you can help.
To contact Janell Sluga, GCMC with questions or concerns, please call 720-9797 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.