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CCISD Foster Grannie making a difference at Oak Park Elementary

Charlotte Wilson Foster Grand parent
Posted at 6:34 AM, Sep 11, 2023
and last updated 2023-09-11 08:31:31-04

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — At Oak Park Elementary, there is a special grannie that is impacting future generations.

Charlotte Wilson has been a foster grandparent for 20 years. The program was initiated in 1965 as an opportunity for people 55 years of age and older to serve children with special and exceptional needs.

"I mentor the kids, especially the ones that have never been in school. I help them with their letters, their numbers, help them spell their names, and if they need help with their laptops, help them with that," Wilson said.

She volunteers Monday through Friday and loves every minute of it. She even volunteers during the summer.

"I always think of the kids, you know. They ask me where were you, or when I am getting ready to leave at 2:30, they don't want me to go," she added.

Samantha De La Garza-Mondragon, the Volunteer Coordinator for the Grandparent Program, said students benefit a lot from this program.

"They're in a class of maybe 20, and so the teacher is focused on all 20 children, whereas our volunteers could focus on those one or two children that really need that extra one-on-one help," she said.

Mondragon said the grandparents receive stipends and are allowed to choose their own schedule as long as it is consistent— because these kids need that support.

"We have lots of children in classrooms right now that need that one-on-one help that need that 'granny.' I'm having a bad day, you know, maybe something happening at home and granny is just there, and they could just sit with them, and they can have to sit right by them, and it's okay, and they can talk to them," she said.

Grannie Wilson hopes to continue to volunteer for five more years, and it means the world to her to be able to make a difference in the children's lives.

Wilson said laughing that her supervisor (Mondragon)won't let her retire just yet.

They are always looking for more foster grandparents at CCISD schools. If you are interested, you can call 361-446-2694 or click here.