WESTBY, Wis. (WKBT) -

A long-standing program that helps young students work with role models may be forced to shut down.

The Foster Grandparent Program in Wisconsin has been running for the last 50 years.

The volunteer-based program allows adults 55 and older to work directly with kids who need extra help in the classrooms.

But  the program, which is managed by the Retired Seniors Volunteer Program or RSVP, may lose its grants by December 31st, after being notified by the state its current model is not consistent with state rules.

Sally Vivian, a volunteer grandma, has been working under the program for the last 15 years. She says the program has allowed her to be a role model for children at Westby Elementary.

"We cuddle them, we try to build their esteem, we work with the teachers in areas where the child needs extra help," said Vivian.

And as a volunteer, she's making $2.65 an hour. But she says the reward is priceless.

"My great joy is walking into this building and having children acknowledge 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," she said.

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," said Vivian.

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 party agency.

"They had to have noticed this sooner than this," said Vivian.

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," said Rhonda Wemette, a first grade teacher at Westby Elementary.

"I don't want to leave this family, this is my family, the teachers are like my daughters the children are my grandchildren," said Vivian.