Congratulations to Friends Foster Grandparent Program volunteers Claire Bickford and Ginny Wentworth for being recognized by the schools where they volunteer (please scroll down for the full stories).
Claire was honored by Belmont Elementary School as their ‘Volunteer of the Year’ for her commitment working with a student needing extra emotional and social support. Grammy Claire, as students lovingly call her, was able to reach this student beyond that of her special education teacher and assistant. Grammy Claire’s support resulted in academic progress and an increased ability to communicate. Mrs. Donovan, Grammy Claire’s teacher says, “Gram is a gem, dedicated to teaching and caring about all of the children she works with. I am retiring after 35 years of teaching and Claire brought the same joy to me as she has done every year to each child in my classroom. I thank her and the Friends Foster Grandparent Program for bringing such a wonderful person into my life and the lives of the children in my classroom.”
Ginny, affectionately known as Ms. Ginny, was awarded a certificate during a school-year-end celebration at South Range School and now has a book dedicated in her name in the South Range Library with the following heartfelt inscription: “Ms. Ginny came to South Range School 5 years ago as part of the Foster Grandparent Program. She started her career here with a first grade teacher who was looking for a volunteer. Right away, Ms. Ginny found herself getting attached to the delightfulness of first graders. Having no grandchildren of her own, she found an entire classroom full in first grade. Her kindness, gentleness, genuine interest in them, all the while expecting them to try hard to improve in all that’s expected of first graders, endeared her to their hearts. Her first class of first graders are now fifth graders and they still greet her with enthusiasm when they meet up with her, delighted to see her, anxious to see if she remembers them. After three years in first grade, Ms. Ginny currently works with kindergarten classes. Her same caring qualities and patience are now helping our youngest students get a good start at South Range. From helping children learn popcorn words, to becoming better mathematicians, to learning kindness for each other, celebrating with them when they master a skill and encouraging them when they still need a little more practice, Ms. Ginny has found a place in the hearts of many children and adults at South Range School. All of this, and more, has prompted us to choose Ms. Ginny to be our 2017 – 2018 Volunteer of the Year at South Range School.”