The Ozarks Area Community Action Corp. Foster Grandparent Program is looking for volunteers, age 55 and older, who would enjoy making a positive difference in the life of a child. Foster Grandparent Program volunteers work with children in schools, day cares, Head Start centers and youth centers. They are role models, mentors and friends to children with exceptional needs.

Volunteer openings are available in Dallas, Laclede, Webster, Polk, Greene, Barry, Christian, Dade, Douglas, Lawrence, Stone, Taney, Texas and Wright counties in southwest Missouri.

During 2019, the Foster Grandparent Program saw the following:

• 348 students showed improved academic performance in literacy and/or math through tutoring.

• 70 at-risk students were provided emotional support, companionship and socialization.

• 18 youth maintained a mentoring relationship with an OACAC foster grandparent for the full nine-month school year.

• 49 children in Head Start demonstrated gains in social and/or emotional development.

Foster Grandparent Program volunteers receive nutritious meals, an annual physical exam, accident and liability insurance, and fellowship. Additional benefits for those meeting income guidelines include an hourly, nontaxable stipend, reimbursement for travel, holiday pay, and funeral, sick and annual leave.

The OACAC Foster Grandparent Program provides a way for volunteers 55 and older to stay active and share their experience and compassion. Those interested should call (417) 864-3420 or toll-free at (866) 380-4420. More information is available on the OACAC website at oac.ac.

OACAC is a nonprofit organization working to alleviate the causes and conditions of poverty in southwest Missouri. The Foster Grandparent Program is a nationwide volunteer program for seniors.

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