National Volunteer Week
April 18-24: Foster Grandparent Program – 37 years and over 886,000 hours of service to the youth at LHS, utilizing 1,226 years of experience and wisdom.
The Foster Grandparent Program is a volunteer program sponsored by Lincoln Hills School Department of Corrections and federally funded by the Corporation for National Service.
At Lincoln Hills School the Foster Grandparent Program places older adults where their support and lifetime of experience will make a difference. Currently 17 seniors from four surrounding communities are actively busy making a difference in the life of a young man at Lincoln Hills Correctional Facility in Irma. Our Foster Grandparents range in ages from 62-95, with their main focus on mentoring and tutoring the students at Lincoln Hills School. There are two shifts of Foster Grandparents interacting with the students from 7:30 a.m. until 4 p.m. daily. Foster Grandparents are placed in all the regular cottages at LHS as well as in many of the classrooms. The Foster Grandparent Program has been an active part of Lincoln Hills for
37 years, touching the lives of many youth. The youth experience firsthand the vitality of older adults and learn how to interact with them and treat them with respect. Some of the activities are: talking and listening, playing cards, baking treats together to share, planting flowers outside living units, crafts, assisting students in the classroom who have trouble keeping up, and tutoring in reading.
The Grandparents also spend one hour a day with the same student assisting him with reading skills. This is the Title One Reading Program. Students and their Reading Grandparent develop a bond and progress is made both academically and socially. Many students with the help of a grandparent have been able to increase in these areas dramatically in a few short months; at times it’s truly amazing. This assists in breaking the cycle of failure these youth so often experience and become comfortable with. The youth become so proud of themselves when they progress (not a feeling they are used to). The Foster Grandparents enjoy watching the students develop better reading skills, experiencing their progress firsthand and knowing that reading is a basic tool they will all need to become a productive part of our community. It is rewarding to the Foster Grandparents as well as to know that they have made a difference. With the special skills these grandparents have acquired though their own life experiences, they are able to motivate the students in very unique ways. Many students graduate from the reading program and go on to earn diplomas and technical college credits.
The Foster Grandparents at Lincoln Hills School are a very dedicated, caring group who see past what may have brought our students to Lincoln Hills School and see the potential in all our students and help them to see a future for themselves. They work towards teaching them to be self-correcting and independent in their learning tasks even with the challenges so many of our youth have to overcome.
Foster grandparents continue whether in the living units or in the classrooms to work with our students to help close the gap between their potential and their performance.
For more information on the Foster Grandparent Program please contact:
Donna Nash at 536-8386, ext. 1181
Foster Grandparent Supervisor
Volunteer Coordinator LHS