Foster Grandparents

Foster Grandparents are volunteers who provide one-on-one mentoring, tutoring, and support to children. Foster Grandparents are role models, mentors, and friends to children at risk or children with special needs.

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"Grandma Mary Wynn is a real trooper! Her kind and gentle spirit has made a difference in my classroom. She makes sure to come to every fine arts performance for her students, regardless of where it is!"

Belinda Willis-Jenkins

Art Teacher at A.J. Lewis Greenview Elementary

This intergenerational program is mutually beneficial to the senior volunteers and to the students they serve. Foster Grandparents mentor school-aged children to increase their positive behavior and accelerate their reading level. The program also enhances the quality of life of our senior volunteers by keeping them active and engaged in their community. 

  • The program provides a way for volunteers age 55 and older to stay active by serving children and youth in their communities.  Studies have shown that when seniors stay active, they feel a greater sense of purpose and live longer. 
  • Currently, we have 25 seniors who would like to volunteer for the Foster Grandparent program, but we do not have the funding to accommodate them. 
  • Foster Grandparents is a program of the Corporation for National and Community Service. Seniors who fall within income guidelines can receive a tax-free stipend for the hours worked (up to a maximum of 20 hours per week) and mileage reimbursement.
  • For the fiscal year ending June 30, 2016, there were 84 Foster Grandparents who provided 72,863 hours of mentoring, tutoring and friendship to approximately 740 children at 28 stations, including low-performing public schools, hospitals, daycare centers and Head Start centers.  
  • In placing additional volunteers, Foster Grandparents are matched with the students identified by school staff as having the greatest need for academic or behavioral intervention. The Foster Grandparents work with their assigned students up to 20 hours each week.
  • A recent year-end survey showed that more than 96% of students assigned to Foster Grandparents showed significant improvement in attitude and interest, leading to improved academic skills, and more than 97% advanced to the next grade.  Among special needs students assigned to foster grandparents, 100% showed significant improvement in attitude and interest, leading to improved academic skills and advancement to the next grade.

For more information, call 803-252-7734 or email Foster Grandparent Coordinator Larrisa McDowell at