Grandma Charlotte Kasor came to the U.S. in the1990’s from Liberia. Wanting to stay busy and find new purpose in retirement, she became a Foster Grandparent ten years ago. She works primarily with kindergartners on literacy skills, and with those who need individualized attention. She also spends time helping children in the classroom so that the teacher can continue her lesson to the broader class.
Excell Academy for Higher Learning is a charter school in Brooklyn Park with a diverse group of children, 95% of whom are eligible for free and reduced lunches. They are doing whatever it takes to close the achievement gap and encourage students to reach and exceed academic and social expectations. Excell utilizes the talents of six LSS Foster Grandparents at least twenty hours per week. They provide academic, social and emotional support.
Excell Director Ms. Williams says that Foster Grandparents support teachers and allow them to do their work in closing the achievement gap. The volunteers give their hearts and knowledge to students, strengthening both their education skills and confidence.
There is something special about the intergenerational bond. Grandma Charlotte is truly a leader who creates lasting relationships with the students, staff and other volunteers. She says that being a Foster Grandma gives her a sense of accomplishment. She sees the difference she makes in the children’s reading and socializing.
It has also made a huge impact in her own life. She says, “So many seniors sit at home, watch TV, and make trips to the refrigerator. This allows me to stay busy and useful.
It keeps me young and moving! These children make me happy every day.”