ABILENE – The Abilene Foster Grandparent Program (FGP) is hosting a “Time with Grandma” event to connect with children at a local child care center on Wednesday, June 23. The event coincides with the distribution of 25 tablets to volunteers of the FGP. The iPads will allow the Foster Grandparent volunteers to perform virtual check-ins, mentoring, story time, and tutoring with children with exceptional needs.
“Maintaining the connection between children and their Foster Grandparents is beneficial to both, and now we have another way to safely reach out to kids during the pandemic,” said Debra Young, the Volunteer Services Coordinator with the Abilene Foster Grandparent Program. “With the tablets we will continue connecting communities and generations. This program gives children support they might not get anywhere else.”
Staff with the Foster Grandparent Program will distribute some of the tablets to volunteers on Wednesday morning and demonstrate how to use the devices. Afterward, 82-year-old Grandma Judy Stevens will go to the Day Nursery of Abilene child care center and use her iPad to read to four-year-old children from a separate room. She will also work with the kids to practice counting and reciting the alphabet.
WHAT: Distribution of tablets and a “Time with Grandma” volunteer session
WHEN: Wednesday, June 23, 2021
- 9 a.m. — Tablet distribution and training session (HHS Building)
- 10 a.m. — “Time with Grandma” (Child Care Center)
- Tablet Distribution — HHS building, 4601 South 1st St., Abilene, TX (K rooms)
- “Time with Grandma” — Day Nursery of Abilene, 1442 Vine St., Abilene, TX
- Group of Foster Grandparents learning how to use tablets
- Enthusiastic children communicating with 82-year-old Foster Grandparent volunteer
- Interview opportunities with Foster Grandparent Program staff and volunteers
During the summer, volunteers will use the tablets to connect virtually with children at child care centers and with youth at the Ron Jackson State Juvenile Correctional Complex in Brownwood, Texas. The Foster Grandparents will also connect with school programs once the new school year begins.
The Abilene FGP is among seven other service areas that have received tablets from the Texas Health and Human Services Commission.
About the Foster Grandparent Program
Volunteers with the national Foster Grandparent Program serve as mentors, friends and tutors to children and other youth with exceptional needs. The children do not live with the volunteers. Instead, the volunteers visit them at established volunteer stations like schools, child care facilities and other locations. Texas HHSC currently administers eight FGP service areas across Texas. More information about the Foster Grandparent Program, including how to volunteer, is posted on the HHSC website.