Stories

Miss Paige

There are so many children across the Mid-South that are reading below their grade level. So the non-profit Porter-Leath is turning to grandparents for a little help with the problem. For 6 hours a day, Monday through Thursday, you will find Lorrina Paige at the library. None of the children she helps are related to her. But when they come through the doors at the Cherokee Library, they sort of are. "So many kids come back and say ‘Where is the lady that helped us read?’ I like that," Paige said. Miss Paige is a volunteer with the foster grandparent program at Porter-Leath. Letting children read to her about fireflies and “Lily's big day.” And helping them out along the way. The program is a way to get kids excited about reading and so much more. 

"Some parents. Some children don't get the love like they get at home. Either some parents or like a foster grandparent or grandparent. They say grandma. Because a grandparent can do more than what a parent can do at home," Paige said. 

And it "pays" to read with Miss Paige. For every 15 minutes that a child reads with a foster grandparent, they get 50 cents taken off their library fines."There are so many children that are not able to pay those fines. Their families are strapped for cash, low income families and so the children need to be able to read especially in the Summer time," grandparent manager Judy Rautine said. None of these kids have any fines. But they could use some help to reach some pretty lofty goals. There are over 100 foster grandparents throughout Memphis and Shelby County volunteering in Head Start, elementary schools, and libraries.

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