September 13 was a nationwide celebration that honored grandparents for their contribution to our lives. Rainbows’ is fortunate to have three extraordinary grandparents through the Catholic Charities Foster Grandparent program. This special program allows retired individuals to engage in meaningful work that benefits all involved, including Rainbows’ kiddos. Having the opportunity to spend time with older individuals allows children to learn values and coping skills. According to the Catholic Diocese of Wichita, only 47.4% of Kansas kindergarten students are prepared or ready for school. The Foster Grandparent Program helps children prepare to succeed.
Grandma Xuan, Grandpa Dao, and Grandpa Thu are the three foster grandparents at Rainbows. Each one comes in daily for 4-5 hours, volunteering in the Kids’ Point classrooms helping the kids with crafts, projects, and meals, while also helping the staff with daily classroom chores. Grandma Xuan has been serving with Rainbows for 5 years, Grandpa Dao 13 years, and Grandpa Thu 20 years.
Grandma Xuan is a big help to Miss Annabel and Miss Annette in classroom 6. “We couldn’t survive without Grandma. We miss her when she is gone. She takes the time to clean up after all of us when we are constantly moving,” said Annette. Annabel agrees, “Grandma is very helpful and sweet. All of the kids love her and are sad to say goodbye at the end of the day.”
Grandpa Dao serves in classroom 5 with Miss Cassie. “Grandpa goes above and beyond and always jumps in to help without anyone asking him,” said Cassie. “The kids like to spend one-on-one time with him, especially when he lets them listen to his Vietnamese music.”
Miss Amy and classroom 7 all appreciate how much Grandpa Thu takes care of them. “Grandpa is an amazing help, especially with our children with special needs. He comes in everyday with such a calming and soothing presence,” Amy said. “Grandpa Thu helps me fall asleep at naptime!” said Jamison, a child in Amy’s classroom.
Thank you to our extraordinary foster grandparents, Grandma Xuan, Grandpa Dao, and Grandpa Thu for your dedication to bringing potential to life at Rainbows. You make the difference!
To learn more about the Foster Grandparent Program: http://bit.ly/FosterGrandparents