Foster Grandparent volunteers make a real difference in children’s lives with in-school tutoring and mentoring. That difference would not be possible without classroom teachers. Teachers, like Ms. SaTonya Brascom, are true advocates for their students and the volunteers who assist them.
In 2019, Ms. Brascom volunteered to coordinate Foster Grandparents at Booker T. Washington Elementary. Because of her efforts, Foster Grandparent volunteers helped 50 children achieve academic and emotional success. COVID-19 threw the future of Foster Grandparents in Hillsborough and Pinellas County Schools into question. In-school support would no longer be possible. Instead of giving up, volunteers rose to the challenge and learned new technology to continue to tutor and mentor virtually.
Ms. Brascom threw her full support behind the new, virtual services. “She saved the program,” Foster Grandparent coordinator, Maribeth Stacey, explained. “Without her, Foster Grandparents would no longer be at BT Washington.” Ms. Brascom knew that students needed the extra support that Foster Grandparents give. Thanks to Ms. Brascom, 20 students at BT Washington Elementary received individualized support through the pandemic.
Ms. Brascom goes above and beyond to support her students and the Foster Grandparents program as a whole. “She’s spent her own time and money on training and supplies,” Maribeth explained. “She’s even urged teachers at other schools to participate.” The strong relationship between Ms. Brascom and each Foster Grandparent is apparent to all who encounter it. Volunteers describe her as compassionate, patient, and supportive. “The volunteers at BT Washington don’t think of her as just a teacher,” Maribeth explains, “She’s their friend.” Thank you, Ms. Brascom, for your unwavering support of our volunteers and our community’s children!