School district's 'foster grandparent program' cut - WNEM TV 5

School district's 'foster grandparent program' cut

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SAGINAW, MI (WNEM) -

Elease Watson loves to volunteer in the classroom. Now she's concerned after learning her services are no longer needed.

"Ii think that the grandparent program really is a great benefit to those students as well as to those teachers," Watson said.

Saginaw Schools Superintendent Nate McClain made the decision to pull funding from the foster grandparents program.

"We help the teachers out with different assignments throughout the day. Just to see a child come to school and get a great big hug sometime that makes their day," Watson said.

Sarah Rodriguez has been a part of the program for 15 years. She said many students remember her long after leaving school.

"I see them on the street and they still remember me. And they're happy to see me and everything," Rodriguez said.

She too, is hoping something can be done to keep the program a float.

"Maybe if they try hard enough you know we can make it," Rodriguez said.

But McClain said the district cannot use grant money to fund the grandparent program. Each volunteer receives a stipend for their time. He said the grant money is for instructional purposes only which are requirements the program does not satisfy.

Watson said she thinks the superintendent is a wonderful man. She's optimistic McClain can find a creative way to keep this program going.

"I pray and hope that you can find some funding to keep the foster grandparents alive," Watson said.

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