A long-standing program that helps young students
work with role models may be forced to shut down.
News 8's Sarah Thamer joins us in studio with the
The Foster Grandparent Program in Wisconsin has been
running for the last 50 years.
It's a volunteer-based program which allows adults
55 and older to work directly with kids who need extra
help in the classrooms.
But the program may lose its grants by December 31st.
after being notifiied by the state...its current model
is not consistent with state rules.
Hey buddy! I remember you from preschool too.
Grandma sally may be a grandma, but at Westby elementary,
she's a little more than that.
I'm almost 80 years old now but I'm not ready to retire.
For the last 15 years, Grandma sally has been working
under the Foster Grandparents Program, which is managed
by the Retired Seniors Volunteer Program or R-S-V-P.
A program that she says allows her to be a role model.
We cuddle them, we try to build their esteem, we work
with the teachers in areas where the child needs extra
And as a volunteer, she's making 2 dollars and 65
cents an hour, but she says the reward, is priceless.
My great joy is walking into this building and having
children aknowledge me and running to me and 'grandma
you're here!' and giving me my hugs and it gives me
a reason to get up in the morning.
But the Corporation for National and Community services,
which supplies the money to the Foster Grandparent
Program, will no longer allow third party agencies
to manage the program's funds.
I understand that they want somebody to be a state
employee in order to be an overseer of the program.
Which means that only the department of health services
or the foster grandparent program can manage those
grants, not the Coulee Region RSVP, which is a third
They had to have noticed this sooner than this.
And teachers are concerned, about a future classroom,
without Grandma Sally.
It would mean that our children are losing an important
resource in our school, we really do depend on her
she helps children who are struggling, but she also
helps children who need an extra challenge.
I don't want to leave this family, this is my family,
the teachers are like my daughters the children are
The program is now asking
the state to waive the regulations
for at least a six month period until they can find
a new solution.
But program officials say that may not be likely.
If the program were to shut down, can grandparents
Yes, grandparents can still volunteer under what is
called a study buddy program.
But they wouldnt be receiving any stipends through