41°FSnowFull Forecast

Area foster grandparents honored for work

Published: Saturday, July 5, 2014 1:15 a.m. CDT
Foster Grandparent Ron Novak listens to a child read in a first-grade class at Franklin Elementary School in Sterling. Photo submitted by Barb Wolcott.
Barb Oncken takes a moment with two children from her classroom at Jefferson Elementary School in Sterling.

ROCK FALLS – Members of the Tri-County Opportunities Council’s Foster Grandparent Program received special recognition, with a buffet luncheon and magic program, May 8 at White Pines Inn Dinner Theatre in Mount Morris.

Nine grandparents received the President’s Volunteer Service Award for serving more than 4,000 hours. They are Lorna Applegate of Lanark; LaVaun Ashmore of Milledgeville; Gloria Gates, Janice Hamill, and Sally Landis, all of Dixon; Patricia Maronde and Linda Nason of Byron; and Patricia Mintun and Kathy Riley, both of Rock Falls. 

Sixteen grandparents were recognized for volunteering for 10 or more years. Three of them will retire from the program: June Teachout with 16 years and Barb Oncken with 17, both at Jefferson School in Sterling, and Ruth Rumley, with 15 years at Dillon School in Rock Falls.

Jan Reynolds and Kathy Aritiy, both of Rock Falls, received first-year pins.

Foster Grandparents provide one-on-one mentoring. They tutor children in literacy and math, and serve as a caring adult presence in the child’s life.

More foster grandparents are needed for the 2014-15 year.

Applicants must be retired, 55 or older, meet income guidelines, pass a background check, and serve a minimum of 15 hours weekly. Participants receive a federal and state tax-free stipend of $225 to $450 monthly, transportation reimbursement, paid holidays, sick and vacation leave, free meals, and a paid physical.

Tri-County foster grandparents serve in Amboy, Byron, Dixon, LaSalle, Milledgeville, Princeton, Ottawa, Rock Falls, Savanna, Sterling, Shannon, and Thomson.

For more information, visit or call Barb Wolcott 815-625-7830 or 800-323-5434, ext. 40.

Get breaking news sent to your phone. Sign up for text alerts from Sauk Valley Media!

More News

National video

Reader Poll

There’s a movement afoot in the Illinois Legislature to name former President Barack Obama’s birthday (Aug. 4) as a legal holiday in Illinois. What do you think?
Good idea
Bad idea
Not sure
No opinion