The Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) makes a $1 million grant to the Chickasaw Nation for a new Senior Corps Foster Grandparent Program. It is the first time federal funds have gone to this type of program.
The goal of tribal program is to improve school readiness, ensuring Chickasaw youth and children are on the pathway to academic success, said Wendy Spencer, CNCS CEO. The Chickasaw Nation is a federally recognized Native American nation, located in Oklahoma.
The new funding will support up to 75 Senior Corps foster grandparents serving annually over the next three years. The tribe will be able to leverage the federal grant into an additional $120,000 in local support to increase community impact, officials said.
Foster grandparents will serve with the Chickasaw Nation Child Development Center and Head Start in Ada, OK. 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. The Foster Grandparent Program is an intergenerational program that provides a way for volunteers to stay active and provide one-on-one mentoring.
“We are thrilled to announce the first-ever Foster Grandparent Program of its kind for the Chickasaw Nation,” Spencer said. “For generations, seniors have been making a powerful impact in their communities, and their service is more important now than ever.”