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Meet Foster Grandparent Program Volunteer Grandpa Jack

Jack Sunderlik is a retired school teacher and brings a wealth of experience with him to the One Hope United Springfield Foster Grandparent Program.

The OHU Foster Grandparent Program offers seniors age 55 and older the opportunity to serve as mentors, tutors and loving caregivers for youth with special needs. Volunteers serve in a variety of locations throughout the community, including schools, after-school programs, Head Start, child care centers and youth centers. The personal attention offered by foster grandparents like Jack helps youth grow, gain confidence and succeed as productive members of society. In return, Foster Grandparents receive the joy of being needed within their communities.

Jack is currently volunteering more than 40 hours a week at Dubois Elementary School. He is working with special needs students and is always trying to come up with a new way to engage the students and keep them interested. Jack is so dedicated that in addition to his 40 hour work week, he takes projects home, making flash cards or creating new activities to do with the kids.

Grandpa Jack is extremely humble and says it’’s the teachers who deserve the recognition. Jack also says that the program is giving him a renewed sense of purpose and he will do all he can to help.

Dubois Elementary assistant principal and teachers cannot say enough positive words about their volunteer. Ms. Medley and teachers have seen noted improvement in students after only a short time of working one on one with Jack. Ms. Medley says that all she hears up and down the halls is students calling out “Grandpa Jack, Grandpa Jack!” The school also reports that students are showing improved reading and math scores due to a rubric for each child that Jack uses to keep track of their progress.

Ms. Medley thanks the OHU Foster Grandparent Program for sending them their “Grandpa Jack.” We thank Jack for joining our program and appreciate his patience and easy going demeanor as well as his commitment to go above and beyond the call of duty and dedication to always trying to find a way to help.

Thank you Grandpa Jack!

For more information about the Springfield Foster Grandparent Program, contact Program Director Gloria Plummer.