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Senior Corps offers volunteer training


Claire Louge speaks to Senior Corps volunteers about early childhood development.

Every month, members of the Verde Valley Senior Corps receive four hours of training to assure they are on top of their game. This month they heard presentations from Ivan Anderson, paramedic and MATForce speaker from the Verde Valley Fire District and Claire Louge of First Things First.

Anderson told the group about the medical marijuana law and prescription drug abuse and disposal. Louge, who does community outreach for First Things First, a program that addresses the needs of Arizona children from birth to age five, addressed early childhood brain development with a presentation that graphically depicted the fact that most brain development has occurred before children start school. Foster Grandparents work with children across the age spectrum via their service at Head Start, Boys and Girls Clubs and within the schools.

Senior Corps encompasses the Foster Grandparents Program, Senior Companions and RSVP. Senior Companions and Foster Grandparents were recognized at this event. The groups are all part of the Northern Arizona University Civil Service Institute. Area Coordinator, Shana Smith notes that the program needs three to five Foster Grandparents volunteers right now. "We sincerely hope that low-income individuals over 55 who likes working with children will give us a call."

Smith says, "Our volunteers attend training every month. We have interesting speakers and sometimes we have time for sharing, so we can address challenges we may all face." Smith pointed out that all volunteers receive a small stipend so although the trainings are mandatory, volunteers get a reimbursed for their time and mileage. "In addition to the daily stipend, Foster Grandparents also receive reimbursement for their meals on days they volunteer," said Smith, by way of motivating potential volunteers to call.

Anyone who enjoys helping children, is 55 or older and could use a little tax-free money to supplement their income is urged to contact Smith to see about becoming a Foster Grandparent volunteer. Call her at (928)202-8261 or email shana.smith@nau.edu .




 

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