Sheila Goff and Angie Hubler of the Foster Grandparents
program were the presenters at the August 1 meeting of the Rotary Club of Heber
Springs. Foster Grandparents began in
1965 as a part of the War on Poverty legislation. The program is a division of
Senior Corps, which is part of the AmeriCorps program.
White River Area Agency on Aging has sponsored Foster
Grandparents locally for 35 years, and the program currently serves in ten
counties in our area in many school districts. In Cleburne County, Quitman and
Concord schools are participants the program, with hopes to include the Heber
Springs School District soon.
Foster grandparents work with children providing emotional
and physical support, assist with developmental and speech delays, and assist
with literacy training. Older children may receive mentoring services. Many of
these children may have no older adult role model in their lives, and the
program allows a connection with an older adult that may not happen without
Foster Grandparent volunteers.
Foster Grandparent volunteers may receive a tax-free stipend
of $2.65 per hour if income guidelines are met. They also are eligible to
receive at no cost an annual physical exam, daily meals, and transportation
assistance through the schools. They receive seven paid holidays and in-service
training. The program is available to volunteers age 55 and older, and enable
participating seniors to remain physically and mentally active, and to enhance
their self-esteem through continued participation in community service. For
more information on Foster Grandparents program and how you may participate,
contact the White River Area Agency on Aging at 1-800-382-3205.
The Object of Rotary is "to encourage and foster the
ideal of service as a basis of worthy enterprise." The Rotary Club of
Heber Springs meets each Tuesday at noon on the ASU-Heber Springs Campus. For
more information about the Rotary Club of Heber Springs, please visit our
Facebook page at facebook.com/TheRotaryClubofHeberSpringsAR.