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Sheridan School Lends a Helping Hand to Foster Grandparent Program

Due to recent funding cuts and an increase in transportation costs to the Foster Grandparent Program, Sheridan Elementary came up with a unique way to raise funds for their foster grandparents, Grandma Arlene and Grandma Barb. The school raffled off half-day planning sessions.

The winning staff members, May Vang, educational assistant and Dawn Brauer, second grade teacher, will win a half-day of school planning while Principal Mike Trimberger will cover their position. The total amount raised was $301.

Third grade teacher Kathy Petersen organized the fundraiser.

"We are very appreciative of all the work that our Grandmas do for Sheridan School. They are definitely a part of our community," Petersen said. "The children love working with them, and we love the extra help and attention that they give to our students. Our only wish is that we could have more Grandmas in our building so that all of our children could experience their love and care."

Grandma Arlene has worked with the students at Sheridan for eight years and Grandma Barb is in her second year of service. Both agree that being a part of the Sheridan family is an added blessing to being in the program.

"This is just another snapshot of how special everyone at Sheridan is; even in times of budget concerns our staff showed their unwavering support to these members of our school community. I believe that the total we raised shows just how important Sheridan feels the Foster Grandparent Program is for our students," Trimberger said.

Grandma Arlene and Grandma Barb are two of the 36 older adults presently enrolled in the Sheboygan Area School District Foster Grandparent Program, celebrating its 35th year of service to the community. These older adults work with students in the elementary setting providing tutoring and mentoring services 15 to 25 hours weekly. For their hours of service, they receive a tax-free stipend and a daily meal and mileage reimbursement.

Barbara Horneck, program director, said, "This is another example of the wonderful support our grandparents receive from the teachers and staff. Many of the schools have made contributions to offset our budget shortages but this is definitely the most unique and interesting way in which it has been done. Our warmest thanks and appreciation to everyone for lending us a helping hand."

Anyone 55 or older and would like to learn more about volunteering in the school setting may contact Barbara Horneck at James Madison Elementary School, 459-0453.

Foster Grandparents Grandma Barb and Grandma Arlene pose with the winning tickets, which were presented by Trimberger.
Sheboygan Area School District Press Release
March 17, 2009