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Recently, a heartwarming encounter took place at the Kings Canyon Head Start 0 to 5 site, as dedicated volunteers from The Foster Grandparent Program graced the premises. Together, they embarked on a delightful reading journey with the enchanting book, ‘The Doorbell Rang.’ This unique program bridges generations, bringing together wise and compassionate senior volunteers with underserved infants, children, and teens throughout Fresno. Their mission: to promote literacy, academic success, and holistic development, encompassing social-emotional and cognitive-behavioral growth.

The Doorbell Rang by Pat Hutchins was the book of choice this reading.

Each student was able to take a copy of the book home. This was made possible by the East Fresno Kiwanis Club. Patrick Balakian has been a member of the club for over 15 years and says Kiwanis reached out to the program wanting to find away to help disadvantage children.

Patrick Balakian, member of the East Fresno Kiwanis. (Fresno EOC)

“Recognizing the invaluable role of teachers in shaping young minds, we understand that their efforts alone can only go so far. That’s why it became imperative for us to step in and provide books, facilitating a profound connection between the Foster Grandparents and the children they mentor. The impact of these books extends far beyond their pages, nurturing a bond that transcends generations,” said Balakian.

The Foster Grandparent Program plays a vital role in enriching the lives of both the volunteers and the young minds they touch. By providing invaluable one-on-one mentoring and emotional support, these dedicated individuals create meaningful connections that foster personal growth and academic achievements. With their precious pearls of life wisdom, the volunteers are carefully matched with young individuals who stand to benefit the most from their heartfelt attention and guidance.

Moreover, this program serves as a powerful catalyst for enhancing the quality of life for seniors. As Foster Grandparents extend their love, wisdom, and dedicated time to mentor and nurture the younger generation, they fill a void that might otherwise be left unattended. In return, these selfless individuals gain a profound sense of purpose and self-worth, as they witness firsthand the positive impact they make in the lives of others.

The Foster Grandparent Program stands as a shining example of the remarkable power of intergenerational connections. Through the exchange of love, knowledge, and genuine care, this program creates a tapestry of meaningful relationships, fostering a brighter future for both the volunteers and the children they inspire.



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