Foster Grandparent program changes thousands of lives

A Foster Grandparent program in Montana allows individuals 55 and older to volunteer in schools to help instruct and interact with youth.

Twelve years ago, Loyce Howard heard about the program from another foster grandparent and immediately jumped on the opportunity.

The program requires a minimum of 15 volunteer hours a week, but for Grandma Loyce, that’s just not enough.

Just a month away from the young age of 86, Grandma Loyce continues to volunteers 30 hours a week at Lewis and Clark Elementary school.

Typically, she helps with a variety of grades, working one-on-one with students who are struggling on a certain subject or concept.

Over the past twelve years, Loyce says she’s helped over a thousand children, however from her perspective; it’s the other way around.

“It keeps me active. It makes me think and it’s, you know…You can just sit at home and your mind just kind of deteriorates so when you’re older, it’s really good for the mind… It does more---just as much for me as I do for them,” explained Loyce.

Currently, there’s only one other foster grandparent at Lewis and Clark Elementary.

Loyce says she highly recommends anyone over the age of 55 to volunteer.

As for the future, Loyce says the only thing that would stop her from volunteering is her health, but for now, they’re stuck with her for the long haul.

However, I doubt anyone will mind.  

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