Foster Grandparents

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Foster Grandparent Program Description:

Foster Grandparents give 20 – 40 hours per week (minimum 15 hours – maximum of 40 hours per week, and no more than 8 hours per day) of reading assistance under the supervision of a Volunteer Station (i.e., a school district, school, Head Start Program, etc.).

The goal is to help youngsters with the greatest need to become independent readers by the end of the third grade. However, we have expanded our service to include middle school & high school to include those children with deficient reading skills. Foster Grandparents receive training and orientation in reading skills, and are asked to work 30 minutes with each child assigned to them, either having the child read to them or performing a reading enhancement activity which will be beneficial to the reading development of a child.

We presently have working agreements with about 25 schools and/or school districts. Individual assignment plans are developed for each student served by our volunteers.

How volunteers are utilized:

Our volunteers are considered to be supplemental reading volunteers. They are to be assigned to students (identified by teachers) who are struggling with reading and need extra one-to-one assistance. Volunteers help students practice reading and sounding out words. They also help with comprehension, vocabulary, spelling, and writing. As mentors, they help build self-esteem, self-confidence, and serve as role models for good behavior – helping enhance positive behavior in students.

Volunteers may work in small groups (2 or 3 students), or one-to-one. Our volunteers may “pull out” a student from a classroom for reading practice, or they may “push into” a classroom and serve their assigned students inside a classroom. We are most interested in having volunteers spending consistent time with the same students daily if possible. A volunteer’s schedule should reflect consistency with the same children. FGP volunteers typically give 15 to 40 hours per week. Foster Grandparent volunteers are not teacher aides. They cannot correct papers, do billboards, or sharpen pencils.

We anticipate that each volunteer will work with 10 to 15 selected students on a one-to-one basis during the school year, giving 20 to 30 minutes to each child. We also request that an Assignment Plan be completed by the teacher on each child served, signed by the teacher & volunteer, with a copy sent to this Office.

We provide the forms, and have made them as simple as possible (filling out each form should only take a few minutes). When a student has reached benchmark or reached a reading goal, another child should be selected to work with the FGP volunteer – and another Assignment Plan should be completed. Foster Grandparents are recruited throughout Eastern Oregon.

The program is sponsored by Community Counseling Solutions in Heppner (FGP office is in Pendleton) and is funded by the Corporation for National Service. We are a proud member agency of Umatilla/Morrow County United Way, and have received support from them.   The FGP Program provides low-income senior volunteers the opportunity to “give back” to their community.

Stipend / Other Benefits:

Foster Grandparent volunteers receive a stipend of $2.65 per hour to cover any expenses associated with volunteering. The stipend is non-taxable and is not considered income when computing income for other federal/state program eligibilities.

In addition, volunteers receive transportation assistance to and from volunteer sites, orientation, in-service training, and insurance coverage (accident, liability, & excess auto insurance) while serving as a volunteer. For example, the monthly stipend is $265.00 for 100 hours of service.


To become a Foster Grandparent volunteer, one must:

  • Be at least 55 years of age.
  • Be in good health and able to pass a physical exam.
  • Pass a background check. Participation is contingent upon a criminal history review.
  • Meet an income guideline as follows:

1 person household — $1962 monthly 2 person household — $2640 monthly 3 person household — $3348 monthly 4 person household — $4042 monthly * * We can consider medical, dental, and prescription drug bills, and also health insurance costs when determining eligibility. Actual amounts (x 50%) of medical, dental, and health insurance costs will be considered as an offset when determining entrance eligibility.

The Office address is:

John Brenne, Project Director Foster Grandparent Program P.O. Box 1602 Pendleton, OR 97801 Phone Numbers: Office (Pendleton) — 541-276-4474 Toll free # — 1-800-541-5116 (State-wide #) E-mail:

Have you heard about our Senior Companion Program?

Find out more information

Seeks persons 55+ to help students in school learn to read, or help seniors remain independent. Receive a stipend of up to $450 month tax free.

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