Eighteen foster grandparents in Chisago County were honored recently at the 48th anniversary celebration of the Foster Grandparent Program, which is part of the National Corporation for National and Community Service and sponsored in Minnesota by Lutheran Social Service.
Two foster grandparents were given special awards for their 15 years of service. They include Ade Akerlund, from Lindstrom, who serves at Lakeside Elementary in Chisago City, and Bea Pietrowski, from Forest Lake, who serves at Forest View Elementary in Forest Lake.
Foster Grandparents, 55 or older, provide special tutoring and one-to-one mentoring to children in schools, Head Start programs and shelters. Senior volunteers serve a minimum of 15 hours per week and receive a modest tax-free stipend and mileage reimbursement. The programs are supported with grants from the Corporation for National and Community Service and the Minnesota Board on Aging, as well as support from local counties, United Ways and partner organizations.
Foster grandparents serve in most counties around the state. In 2013, 425 foster grandparents worked one-on-one with 2,720 children, offering 325,000 hours of tutoring and support. Approximately 88 percent of children tutored in reading improved at least one grade level over the year. For more information on senior volunteer opportunities in your area, contact the Senior Corps office at Lutheran Social Service at 651-310-9440.