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About Senior Corps 
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Hurricane Volunteer Support Fund
In the wake of the recent hurricanes, the Corporation is coordinating volunteers to assist with repair and relief efforts in areas affected by this devastating storm. Your donation will support volunteers in providing food and shelter, managing donations, helping victims get necessary assistance, and long-term rebuilding efforts.
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USA Freedom Corps Partnering to Answer the President’s Call to Service
 
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For Organizations > Tools, Training, and Information >
 
Program Spotlight

 

Albuquerque Foster Grandparents

   
Overview: Foster Grandparents in Albuquerque, NM, who serve with the elementary education program make sure that children in their care get plenty of individual attention. The 56 volunteers take part in class activities, but their main focus is the one-on-one time they spend with two children who are assigned to them. The children are selected by their teachers, on the basis of their need for help in five areas: reading, math, science, attendance, and emotional behavior. The Foster Grandparents serve in 16 of the elementary schools in the district, including seven that have not met the yearly progress required by the No Child Left Behind Act. The volunteers play a major role in meeting the needs of specific groups, including ethnic/racial groups, economically disadvantaged students, children with limited English proficiency, and students with disabilities.
   
The Results: Pre- and post-service evaluations reveal that 78 percent of the children in the last school year showed improvement in at least one area. One third grade student showed an increased reading proficiency from pre-K to the second grade level, and his attendance, which had been poor, improved markedly.
   
Why It Works: Renee Chavez, who runs the Foster Grandparent program, sites the good rapport the organization has with the 16 elementary schools it serves as a reason for its success. The program is so popular among teachers that they ask to take the Foster Grandparents with them when they are assigned to new schools or classrooms. Some of the volunteers have served as Foster Grandparents for more than 20 years, providing them with plenty of experience in helping children improve their academic skills.
   
Lessons: Both teachers and Foster Grandparents have to be comfortable with the arrangement. Teaching practices are often far different today than the volunteers have been used to; Chavez makes sure that they understand the current emphasis on “positive promotion” rather than telling children not to do something.
   
Contact: For information, contact Renee Chavez, (505) 764-1612, or [email protected].
   

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