Special to The Hays Daily News

Sister Mary Louise Pfannenstiel, Robert MacDonald and Virginia Quigley of Hays were honored for their service to children with special needs at the Foster Grandparent inservice meeting April 2 in Hays at Sternberg Museum of Natural History.

Pfannenstiel has served as a Foster Grandparent at Holy Family Elementary for four years; Macdonald celebrates one year as a Foster Grandparent with the Discovery Room at Sternberg Museum and Hays Head Start; and Quigley has been with the program for 10 years, serving with Hays Head Start at Felten Middle School, Hays Public Library, Sternberg Discovery Room and at other child-care settings throughout Hays.

These volunteers provided more than 3,000 hours of personal attention and support provided to children in the past year.

Foster Grandparents are volunteers, 60 years of age and older, who give their time and attention to children as positive role models, tutors and mentors. Their commitment of time, between 15 and 35 hours each week, entitles them to benefits including a tax-free stipend of $2.65/hour, a travel allowance, accident and liability insurance, training, uniform and recognition

The training at the April meeting was provided by Joanne Jennings with Reading Recovery, Hays USD 489. Jennings helps students who struggle with reading. She shared information about the needs of children who have difficulty reading and encouraged the volunteers to continue to give their time, patience and support to enable the children to have greater opportunities to read.

The Foster Grandparent Program is sponsored by Fort Hays State University and funded by the Corporation for National and Community Service. Funds are also provided by Ellis County and the city of Ellis.

The program has volunteers in Ellis, Rooks, Russell, Trego, Pawnee, Ford, Norton, Thomas, Barton and Gove counties. For information, call (785) 628-5809.