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Foster Grandparents Head Back To The Classroom

"The most rewarding part about being a Foster Grandparent is that I get to take the place of a mentor and grandmother the kids don't always have." - Marceline Henderson

“The most rewarding part about being a Foster Grandparent is that I get to take the place of a mentor and grandmother the kids don’t always have.” – Marceline Henderson


For more than 40 years, the Foster Grandparent Program (FGP) has served Wyandotte County. It is an AmeriCorps Seniors federally funded program sponsored by Catholic Charities of Northeast Kansas, which engages older adults in volunteer service with children who have special or exceptional needs.

Through the Foster Grandparent Program, senior volunteers go on-site at child care centers and schools in the Kansas City, Kansas Public School District. When schools closed in March 2020, many of our Foster Grandparents shifted and began supporting our agency in other ways. Our Foster Grandparent Program was the only program of its kind in the region that operated during COVID-19!

When KCK Public Schools resumed in-person learning in April 2021, a number of our Foster Grandparents returned to serve in the classrooms. In the past years, Foster Grandparents have always ended their school year a week before the students. This year, many Foster Grandparents chose to stay until the last day of school.

This past year has given many of our Foster Grandparents a new perspective after being out for most of the school year–they realized how much they had missed volunteering. The department received numerous calls about the joys of having the Foster Grandparents back in the classroom. “We are thankful to have been able to accommodate many schools and had Foster Grandparents assigned to new schools to meet the demand,” said FGP Director Shelia Freeman. “We are excited to recruit new Foster Grandparents to join our program and help continue to make a difference in the lives of the children we serve.”

The Foster Grandparent Program is based on income eligibility requirements, and participants receive a tax-free allowance for their volunteer time, including mileage reimbursement and earnings of paid time off (PTO). Participants must be 55 years or older and live in Wyandotte County. If you or someone you know may be interested in learning about becoming a Foster Grandparent, please contact our Program Director, Shelia Freeman at 913.906.8920 or [email protected].


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