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Foster Grandparents Help Youngsters Learn

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By Jay Michaels

Twin Falls, Idaho ( KMVT-TV / KTWT-TV ) One of the best things about senior citizens is the wealth of life experience they have. That's why the Foster Grandparent program through the College of Southern Idaho's Office on Aging is looking to cash in on that knowledge.

The kindergarten kids in teacher Holly Dickinson's class at Perrine Elementary School call Faye Massey "Grandma Faye." She's proof positive that just because you retire doesn't mean you have to shut your brain off, because she volunteers for the Foster Grandparents program.

Massey says, "At 55 you are eligible to enter the Foster Grandparent program. They do a background check on you. They make sure that everything is good and fine in your life."

Jim Fields, director of the College of Southern Idaho's Office on Aging, says there are 60 foster grandparent volunteers in 24 locations in the eight counties of Magic Valley. Last year, those volunteers served more than 53,000 volunteer hours and helped over 1200 children.

Massey says, "I also make sure that Mrs. Dickinson has her full attention on teaching them, so she doesn't have to have eyes in the back of her head."

Massey says she's enjoyed every minute of her volunteering, especially the graduation at the end of each year, when the kindergartners move on to first grade.

Massey says, "I enjoy seeing them learn. And I enjoy it for myself because it's good experience to be able to know that I can make a difference in someone's life."

Massey is finishing up her fourth year in the Foster Grandparent program. If you'd like to volunteer, call CSI's Office on Aging at 736-2122, and ask for Kelle Johnson, who oversees the Foster Grandparent program.

Feb. 12, 2013.


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