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Aroostook Community Matters: Foster Grandparents

Published: Feb. 8, 2022 at 10:27 AM EST
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PRESQUE ISLE, Maine (WAGM) -Staying active in your community is important at any age, in this week’s Aroostook Community Matters, Corey Bouchard takes a look at a program that pairs Older adults with area kids to provide a positive influence.

Vicky Bolstridge - Center Administrative Assistant - Presque Isle Sites, PFGP “I think if the older generation could just be part of the younger generations life, they have so much to offer”

The Foster Grandparent Program is a program ran by Penquis, A community action program in the greater Bangor area. It serves to connect older residents across the state with children in their community.

Maria Staples - program manager - Penquis foster grandparent program “We’re looking for volunteers who are 55 years or older and like we mentioned they will serve in a public or non-profit setting...It pairs seniors as tutors or mentors at public and non-profit settings, assisting children, we serve them actually from birth to age 21, our volunteers act as tutors or mentors helping children to put them on the path to a successful future”

Currently in Aroostook County, there is only one active foster grandparent in the program.

Vicky” The children love her, she is Grammy to them and during covid she would come when the weather was good and she would always bring a book and then she would have activities concerning the book to work with the kids”

One thing Maria Staples, the Program Manager says is that she is constantly receiving positive feedback from the program, not only from the children, but from those who volunteer as well”

Maria “they certainly tell me that they get more than they give. I actually have a quote from one volunteer who said ' I have many things in my life for which I am grateful for, one of the things I am most grateful for is the Penquis Foster Grandparent Program, It gives me the means to stay active and help children Academically, Socially, and Emotionally’”

The Program, which has been around since 1965 , had 61 foster grandparents in the program last year, who had a positive impact on over 600 children throughout the state. If you are interested in becoming a Foster Grandparent in Aroostook County, you can contact the Aroostook County Action Program... Corey Bouchard, Newssource 8

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