Grandma Eula has volunteered as a Foster Grandparent at Mary Tsukamoto Elementary School for the past 10 years. That is about 10,000 hours of volunteer activity for Grandma Staton since starting the Foster Grandparent Program in 1995. Grandma Staton logs over 20 hours a week as a Foster Grandparent Volunteer. Last year Staton also received the President’s Lifetime Achievement Award for accumulating over 4,000 hours over her lifetime.
Staton contributes 4 hours a day, five days a week at Mary Tsukamoto Elementary School in Mrs. Essex and Mrs. Pierces’ first and second grade classes. Mrs. Essex states that Staton is an excellent role model as a senior citizen who has the energy of one of her little ones. The students have improved in reading, spelling and math skills. Without the Foster Grandparent the students would not reap the benefits of the one on one attention or the small group experience.
The other teacher, Mrs. Pierce advises that Grandma Staton is a dependable and reliable volunteer as well as kind and loving to all the students. She is willing to accept responsibility with minimal instruction given; she is a great addition to her class. Grandma Staton’s work with struggling students in readiness skills and reading provides them the extra one on one attention they desperately need. Her patience is evident with the response from the students she works with. The students she works with have shown tremendous growth in their reading skills and would not have progressed as far without Grandma Staton.
Grandma Staton assists with reading, spelling and writing and any other task the teachers may ask. The fact that she is always there when she is scheduled to means a great deal to the children. They love the consistency and look forward to their time with her. She not only helps them academically, but she also helps to build their self-esteem, teaches them the value of effort and hard work and prepares them for better futures. Because of Grandma Staton’s volunteer work, Mrs. Pierce’s class has higher scores on reading fluency compared to other first grade classes. She believes those scores are a result of Grandma Staton listening to them reading everyday.