Grandparents Teach, Too is a nonprofit volunteer group of retired educators founded in 2008. Their mission is to help families prepare young children for success in school, a lifelong love of learning, and reduce the stress of raising children.
There is a very special time uo to the age of 5 years when children learn the fastest and easiest. This window of opportunity only happens exactly like this once in a lifetime.
Families step up
SABIN, DAVIS, HETRICK, ANDEREGG, MALADY, WALKER, DARLING and KATERS
Families can use some basic principles to combine play activities with learning skills needed for reading, math, science, economics and all other subjects, plus social/ emotional skills to get along with others.
Most materials for activities are already available in the home and neighborhood. This learning can also take place while doing family responsibilities like sorting clothes and cleaning.
Even if children are in a professional day care or preschool, nothing can take the place of family fun time with a learning component during evenings, weekends, and summer.
Grandparents Teach, Too teaches these principles to families so they can learn to make the most of this special time. It is not reasonable to rely solely on people outside the family to teach young children. Teachers try, but they are not miracle workers. Informed families are the key to children who love to learn.
Families are under a great deal of economic and emotional stress for many reasons. They are plagued by drug abuse, mental illness, alcoholism, unemployment, multiple part time jobs, physical abuse, and incarceration. Many families are just plain exhausted.
Around the country 34 percent of retirees are stepping forward to help raise grandchildren. Notice how many grandparents are picking up children from school and providing childcare.
Grandparents have many years of experience and practice with skills to share. However, after 20 years many are finding they need a little refresher before they tackle providing childcare for this new generation of preschool children. They are searching for help, too, so they aren't exhausted.
What does GTT do?
Grandparents Teach, Too provides columns in 62 newspapers, the www.grandparentsteachtoo.org website with pod casts, videos, and blog, two books "Learning Through the Seasons" in English and Spanish available at UP Children's Museum, Public Radio 90, and the web site. Proceeds go to the Upper Peninsula Children's Museum. Live informative broad casts are available on WNMUFM Tuesdays at 4:30pm and Saturdays at 8:35 am. GTT also provides parenting to men at the Marquette County Detention Center bi-monthly.
Little did these retired educators realize there would be such an interest and great need. Now there are requests for workshops at churches, childcare centers, organizations, detention centers, fathers' meetings, and schools--more than they can handle.
Start your own GTT
Retired teachers can work through a church, Great Start organization, and other local organizations to form a small group of retirees who use GTT principles to help create their own hometown version of GTT. Contact GTT at firstname.lastname@example.org for free information.
Editor's note: Grandparents Teach ,Too is a non profit organization of elementary and preschool teachers from Marquette, Michigan. Writers include: Jan Sabin, Mary Davis, Jean Hetrick, Cheryl Anderegg, Esther Macalady, Colleen Walker, Fran Darling, and Iris Katers.Their mission since 2009 is to help parents, grandparents, and other caregivers of young children provide fun activities to help prepare young children for school and a life long love of learning. They are supported by Great Start, Parent Awareness of Michigan (PAM), Upper Peninsula Association for the Education of Young Children (UPAEYC), Northern Michigan School of Education, U.P. Children's Museum, and NMU Center for Economic Education.