2014-11-06 / Senior Savvy

Share Today, Shape Tomorrow

By Florence Archambault

Have your grandchildren reached the age where you have less time together due to their busy adult lives? Do you not have grandchildren and often wish that you did? Or are you just looking for something to fill your time now that you are retired and have some extra hours in the day? If so, you may want to explore the East Bay Foster Grandparent Program.

The program is part of Senior Corps, a network of national service initiatives that provides older Americans the opportunity to put their life experiences to work for local communities.

Foster grandparents typically work 15 hours a week and serve as mentors, tutors, and caregivers for at-risk children and youth with special needs under the age of 18. The work is done through various nonprofit organizations, including schools, libraries, group homes, or at before-and after-school program sites.

All volunteers undergo a background check and training, and you must be over 55 to participate. There is a modest hourly tax-free stipend and reimbursement for travel.

For more details, contact the East Bay Community Action Program at 401-435-7876 or go online to eastbayrsvp.org/fgp.

Their motto, “Share Today, Shape Tomorrow,” sounds like an appropriate one.

Remember to check the senior center newsletters for November. In addition to the enrichment and exercise classes, there are many ongoing programs that are offered, including Scrabble, bridge, mahjong, cribbage, other card games, knitting, and craft workshops.

Some of the more important programs offered deal with health issues, such as working on balance. Blood pressure monitoring and other medical advice are often available.

Don’t forget to take advantage of the lunch program at all the centers. Where else can you get a complete meal from soup or salad to dessert for $3? Remember to make reservations a day in advance.

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