Grandparents increasingly are finding themselves in the role of primary caregiver or guardian for their grandchildren, especially during the recession. Just from 2006 to 2007, the number of children living with a grandparent as a guardian jumped 6 percent, according to research by The Pew Research Center.
Numbers like these hold true for the grandparents and children at Venetian Hills Elementary, according to Principal Eunice Robinson. “Seeing this trend during registration, we decided to address the problem by organizing a grandparent support group,” Robinson said.
Hence the formation of the Grandparents Club, or the GPS Club. The club has elected officers and is halfway through an eight-week course focusing on the new parent role that has been thrust upon them. Weekly sessions include “Addressing the Role of the Absentee Parent,” “Navigating the School System,” “Behavior Management,” “Grandparent Resources,” “Physical Health and Wellness,” “Mental Health and Wellness” and “Finances and Creating Dream Pathways.”
Grandparents are feeling less stressed and more able to deal with their new role thanks to participation in the GPS Club, says Venetian’s parent liaison worker, Paulette Nelson. “They realize there is a support system here at the school ready to guide, direct and provide assistance where needed.”
At the end of the course, grandparents will receive certificates for completing the course at a luncheon in their honor. They have also been invited to visit Imagine IT! The Children’s Museum of Atlanta to see what an out-of-school learning experience is like for their children.
Hat tip to Venetian Hills Media Specialist Sheila Johnson for providing the info for this.