Become a Senior Corps volunteer through the Foster Grandparents Program and help children love learning.
Foster Grandparents are role models, mentors, and tutors to children with exceptional needs. The program provides a way for volunteers age 55 and better to stay active by serving children and youth in their communities.
Foster Grandparents help the children they work with by improving each child's behavioral and educational outcome through assistance with social skills, math, writing, and reading, and by providing one-on-one attention for students in a busy classroom.
All you need to join is the ability to give the kind of comfort and love that sets a child on the path toward a successful future. If you're 55 or better and want to share your experience and compassion, you have what it takes to be a Foster Grandparent.
The goals of the program include:
- Enable low-income persons aged 55 and older to remain physically and mentally active and to enhance their self-esteem through continued participation in needed community services.
- Enable children with exceptional needs or special needs to achieve improved physical, mental, emotional, and social development.
- Provide a stipend or other benefits that enable individuals to participate as Foster Grandparents without cost to themselves
Patricia Brunson, Foster Grandparent
Neighborhood Art House
Better known as "Ms. Pat" by Art House students, Patricia started volunteering at the Art House thanks to GECAC's Foster Grandparent program. Ms. Pat said, "I have always loved working with kids, and helping to create a better future for them. I enjoy that the Art House is a positive experience for the kids and creates long-lasting memories." She says that not only does she love making a difference in their lives, but they are making a difference in hers.
- Be age 55 or better
- Live in Erie County
- Can serve between 5 to 40 hours a week
- Complete a background check
Foster Grandparent Program eligibility is based on income. Your family income must be within 200% of federal poverty guidelines
- For a single person household: $29,180 year or less
- For a 2 person household: $39,440 year or less
What You Will Do
AmeriCorps Seniors Foster Grandparents are now volunteering in the classrooms and childcare centers with no restrictions.
- Volunteer in the classroom
- Make extra money and keep your benefits
- Help children learn to read and provide one-on-one tutoring
- Decide which days you will volunteer
- Provide comfort and love to children
What GECAC Will Do
- Match you with a school or child care center
- Provide orientation
- Provide a non-taxable stipend and other benefits to help offset the costs of participation
Becoming a Volunteer
There are two steps that need to be completed to become a volunteer at GECAC Foster Grandparent:
- Complete Volunteer Application (please see income eligibilty guidelines)
- Provide a Background Check: Once you have completed the three steps, a representative from the GECAC Foster Grandparent Program will contact you.