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         May 15, 2002

Nassau County Legislature Approves Ordinance for Foster Grandparent Program

Legislator Norma L. Gonsalves (R-East Meadow), yesterday approved an ordinance to appropriate $145,000 to the Nassau County Foster Grandparents Program. The Department of Senior Citizen Affairs will oversee the usage of the aid to the program. The service establishes relationships between senior citizens and children with special needs. Many of the participating children have some form of physical, mental or emotional problems and the seniors attempt to alleviate some of their conditions with one on one interaction. "This legislation was an important one because it helps two very important groups of people in our society, the elderly and children. The willingness of the seniors to participate and try and change a young person's life is more than enough for me to realize how important this program is," said Legislator Gonsalves.

The federal funding will go towards allowing senior citizens of Nassau County to continue to work with young children who may not have this type of influence in their lives. Foster Grandparents can be found in a variety of different environments throughout the county, including schools, hospitals, day care centers, and group homes. "When I hear about the Foster Grandparents program I think it is a perfect match because these children very often need guidance and reassurance in their lives. Who better to provide those essentials than seniors who lived it and very often helped raise their own children and grandchildren. If all else fails in the program, then hopefully at least we helped create a lasting and constructive friendship between two people," added Legislator Gonsalves. If you would like more information about the Foster Grandparents program you can contact the Department of Senior Citizen Affairs at 516-571-5814.

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