Foster grandparent program unites seniors and kids

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FORT GREENE -

A citywide foster grandparent program is bringing senior citizens into schools and joy to all those involved.

Juanita Fernandez, 78, leaves her home in Norwood every day and heads to the Northside Center in Fort Greene, where she is a foster grandparent. Fernandez says she loves children and has a great time playing games and doing crafts.

"They make me happy since I like the kids, and they make me feel younger," says Fernandez.

Northside partners with the New York City Department for the Aging for the foster grandparent program. The goal is to offer seniors an opportunity to give one-on-one attention to kids. The hope is that the children grow and gain confidence while the seniors get to feel appreciated and needed.

The foster grandparents come from an agency and are interviewed by the school. The seniors don't need a background in education, just a big heart.

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