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January is National Mentoring Month
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DODGEVILLE - January is National Mentoring Month. The word mentor often means "a wise and responsible tutor" or "an experienced person who advises, guides, teaches, inspires, challenges and serves as a model." All this and more can be said about foster grandparent volunteers.

More than a half-million adult Americans serve as volunteers through the Senior Corps volunteer programs. Engaging Americans to strengthen their communities through volunteer service is the primary role of the Corporation for National and Community Service, which encourages Americans to give back through the primary national service programs of Senior Corps and AmeriCorps. Southwest Wisconsin has a Senior Corps volunteer program, the Foster Grandparents, which taps into the skills, talents, and experience of adults 55 and older. Locally the Southwestern Wisconsin Community Action Program sponsors the FGP volunteer program in Green, Grant, Iowa, Lafayette, Richland, Sauk, Vernon, and Crawford counties.

Volunteers of the FGP assist their communities by volunteering at approved sites such as schools, after-school programs, family enhancement programs, nonprofit daycare agencies and other qualified youth programs. Foster grandparents under the supervision of host station staff provide supportive activities such as assisting with reading, math skills, social skills or other areas where children may be challenged to keep pace with their peers. To offset the cost of volunteering, qualified FG volunteers who meet FGP income and program guidelines receive a stipend that does not affect income-sensitive programs such as housing and SSI. Most volunteers agree the best benefit is the satisfaction of interacting with and helping children and youth of the community.

For more information, contact Cindy Deckert at Southwest CAP's business office, 149 North Iowa St., Dodgeville, WI 53533, email or call 1-800-704-8555 ext. 209. Additional information on the Foster Grandparent Program is available at