RurAL CAP’s Elder Mentor Program, nationally known as the AmeriCorps Senior Foster Grandparent Program, serves children in pre-K and school settings throughout the state of Alaska. Elder Mentors are individuals age 55 and older with low incomes who support school readiness and improvement of academic engagement among children with special needs. Eligible Elders receive training, support, and a small stipend for their service.
Our Elder Mentor volunteers connect with children living with disabilities and/or economic challenges at public schools, Head Starts, and early learning centers. Volunteers help children prepare for a successful school career that results in graduation, ultimately equipping them to achieve additional positive outcomes such as employment with a living wage, a healthy lifestyle, and a stable living situation.
This program positively impacts the children, Elders, and teachers involved. Children benefit from individualized tutoring while Elders stay active, spread cultural values, and share knowledge with future generations. As a result, teachers gain valuable classroom support and increased student engagement.