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'Foster Grandparents' support students, teachers in classrooms across the state

Foster Grandparents
Posted at 4:30 AM, Dec 02, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-02 16:54:23-05

PHOENIX — As school districts across the state work to do more with less, more than 100 Arizona teachers are getting some much-needed help from "foster grandparents."

In a sea of first graders at Catalina Ventura Elementary School in Phoenix, you will find "Ms. Jane."

"She gives reminders to us and she always has a smile on her face," said one student. "Sometimes she reminds us to be quiet," said another student.

Truth is Jane Turner will do just about anything to encourage and support these students, and she's been doing it as a "foster grandparent" for the past four years.

"It encourages me to get up in the morning and come to school and see their smiling faces when I open the door, and know that I'm appreciated." said Turner.

Teachers like Callie Krohn appreciate it too. "Boy they miss her when she's not here," said Krohn. "Wednesdays are a sad day for us."

In her 25 years of teaching, Krohn says meeting the growing needs of her students is tougher than ever. "I can serve twice as many students having an extra adult in my room," Krohn said.

Northern Arizona University's Civic Service Institute runs the Foster Grandparent Program, with 120 volunteers across the state and 22 in Maricopa County. There is currently room for at least 20 more volunteers.

No teaching expertise required, just a desire to serve.

"Why not invest in the future of this future generation and try to help them overcome some of the things they need," said Turner, "and help the teachers, be a helping hand to them?"

Volunteers do receive a small stiped and training. Click here for more information.