Chickasaw Nation Receives Federal Grant for First-of-its-Kind Foster Grandparent Program
Program will support school readiness and academic success for Chickasaw Youth
ADA, Okla. – The Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), the federal agency that administers AmeriCorps, the Chickasaw Nation, and Congressman Tom Cole today announced a first-ever federal grant to support a new Senior Corps Foster Grandparent Program. The goal of this program is to improve school readiness, ensuring children are on the pathway to academic success.
The federal agency announced more than $1 million in new funding to support up to 75 Senior Corps Foster Grandparents serving annually over the next three years. The federal investment is projected to generate an additional $120,000 in local support to increase community impact and return on federal investment.
"We are thrilled to announce the first-ever Foster Grandparent Program of its kind for the Chickasaw Nation," said Wendy Spencer, CEO of the Corporation for National and Community Service. "For generations, seniors have been making a powerful impact in their communities, and their service is more important now than ever. We congratulate the Chickasaw Nation for their strong application and thank Governor Anoatubby for his dedication to ensuring our young people are prepared for future success in the classroom and throughout their lives."
"Without a doubt, one of the greatest investments we can make is in our young people, and ensuring they receive a quality education is a foundational part of that investment," said Congressman Tom Cole. "Through the Foster Grandparent Program, I am very pleased that my own tribe is leading an effort to further involve older generations in preparing children to succeed and achieve in school. By providing a way for senior volunteers to come alongside children from disadvantaged circumstances, I am confident that the program will have lasting impact upon the students, their families and the entire community it serves."
Foster Grandparents will serve with the Chickasaw Nation Child Development Center and Head Start in Ada, Oklahoma. Some of their activities will include providing one-on-one attention to children, Chickasaw language and culture discussion, literacy development, and math and science tutoring. Foster Grandparents will also act as mentors offering emotional support and guidance to children, parents and staff.
"While Foster Grandparents have had a positive impact in our classrooms for decades, this new initiative will extend that impact into our child development centers," said Gov. Anoatubby. "We believe this new program offers a unique opportunity for our seniors to form a unique and mutually beneficial bond with the children they serve. Foster grandparents have the opportunity to become role models, mentors and often lifelong friends with these children."
The Foster Grandparent Program is an intergenerational program that provides a way for volunteers age 55 and over to stay active and provide one-on-one mentoring, nurturing, and support to children with special or exceptional needs, or who are at an academic, social or financial disadvantage.
The Corporation for National and Community Service is a federal agency that engages more than five million Americans in service through its AmeriCorps, Senior Corps, Social Innovation Fund, and Volunteer Generation Fund programs, and leads the President's national call to service initiative, United We Serve. For more information, visit NationalService.gov.