Volunteer grandparents spread love to Newport students

NEWPORT, AR (KAIT) - Getting a flu shot is hardly a treat, but the Newport Elementary School has found the trick for its students to move past the pain. Volunteer grandparents served as designated "huggers" after kids got flu vaccines Wednesday during a free clinic.

"They are really a good dose of medicine," Dean Davis said.

Davis spent the morning handing out hugs after students got their flu shots. She says spreading the love comes with her job. Davis volunteers as a foster grandmother in Newport, working with kindergarten students in the classroom year-round.

"If they need a hug, I give them a good hug," Davis said. "Grandma needs one too."

She and five others volunteer in the early education classrooms, helping out any way they can. They say they're grandparents to everyone whether they give a warm embrace or help with a lesson.

"We show love to them," foster grandmother Jean Thompson said.

"Every morning when they see you, they hug you, and we're happy to see them," Beatrice Bullock said.

Bullock has been a foster grandmother for 34 years. She will soon turn 91-years-old, and says it's about time to retire from her duties. Bullock says she's enjoyed watching generations of kids come through her classrooms.

"They love you, and I love them – every one of them," Bullock added.

The volunteers from Newport will travel to Little Rock on Friday to attend a state foster grandparents' conference.

Copyright 2011 KAIT. All rights reserved.