Foster Grandparent Program (FGP)

Would you like to be a classroom volunteer and get paid?

Foster Grandparent Program Video:

If you are age 55 or over and have at least 5 hours a week to volunteer, consider becoming a classroom “grandparent.” The Office for Aging’s Foster Grandparents volunteer in general classrooms to work one-on-one with children in elementary schools, Head Start programs, daycare centers, and middle schools across Broome County. The grandparents are making a difference by nurturing and mentoring children. They share in classroom activities such as reading books together, practicing the alphabet, and solving math problems.

No prior experience in a classroom is needed! You will receive a stipend of $4.00 for each hour that you volunteer, plus travel reimbursement and a free lunch at school each day. You must be income-eligible to apply. Call the Foster Grandparent Program today at 607.778.2089 to find out more about how you can enroll!

What Do Classroom Grandparents Do?

Classroom grandparents provide the nurturing, support, and extra attention that some children need to succeed. They work directly with children: talking, listening, reading stories, keeping positive, and helping with academic work. The activities they engage in depend on the ages of the children and their needs. Some Foster Grandparents feed and rock infants. Others work with older children, reinforcing lessons taught by teachers and acting as a role model of appropriate behavior.

What Are the Benefits?

Foster Grandparents receive:

  • Stipend of $4.00 per hour

  • Reimbursement for travel costs

  • A meal at their volunteer site

  • Paid time off (up to a predefined amount each year)

  • An annual physical examination

  • Paid orientation and on-going training

  • The opportunity to socialize with other Foster Grandparents

  • The opportunity to make a difference in our community

How does the stipend work?

You will receive a stipend of $4.00 for each hour that you volunteer, plus travel reimbursement and a free lunch at school each day. Only income-eligible older adults can apply. Call us to learn whether your current income meets the eligibility requirement.

By law, the stipend you receive is not taxable and it cannot affect any other benefits you get. For example, it cannot be part of the calculations of your income for public housing or food stamps. It cannot be included in determining if you are eligible for HEAP or benefits from the Veterans Administration.

What is the Purpose of the Foster Grandparent Program?

The Foster Grandparent Program assists children who need additional help to succeed in the classroom. The program works by matching these children with a caring volunteer, the Foster Grandparent, who works with them to reach goals set by the children's teachers. The program also makes it possible for low-income older adults to make a meaningful contribution to their community by providing the economic support they need to volunteer.

Why Be a Foster Grandparent?

Because it's an opportunity to do truly rewarding work. As one Foster Grandparent recently said:

“Initially I was interested because I needed to supplement my income, but after I started I fell in love with the children. I feel loved, appreciated, needed, and missed when I'm not there. I feel I have the opportunity to give love and approval to children who really need it.”

What Else Should I Know?

All applicants to the Foster Grandparent Program must complete criminal history background checks, including FBI fingerprinting, Sex Offender Registry check, and NY State Unified Court System check. There is no cost to the applicant for these checks. Eligibility to serve as a Foster Grandparent, Advisory Council Member, employee of the AmeriCorps Seniors and/or beneficiary of such will not be denied on the basis of race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, national origin and/or limited English proficiency, age, disability, sexual orientation, genetic information, military service, education, political affiliation and marital or parental status. 

For more information, call 607.778.2089.


Foster Grandparent Program flyer

Find out more about Foster Grandparents programs across the nation: AmeriCorps Seniors

Find out about other volunteer opportunities with the Office for Aging or in the community. 

Foster Grandparent Advisory Council Meeting Minutes

February 2024

March 2024

April 2024

May 2024