Foster grandparent leaves lasting impact at Jonesboro school

(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - Thursday morning was anything but ordinary for one woman at Jonesboro's Visual and Performing Arts Magnet School.

Janis Minton, 78, works as a foster grandparent at the school. She had no idea what was in store when she was asked to arrive early Thursday morning.

In the school gym, students and staff gathered to celebrate Minton's last year at the school.

"I thought they were just going to recognize me for retiring," Minton said. "I had no idea all this other stuff was going on, so I was a little overwhelmed."

Minton, who used to be a teacher, first entered the foster grandparent program at VPA in 2010 after hearing about it from a friend at church.

"I think they enjoy it," Minton said. "Sometimes they want to work with me, read to me, and show me what they can do."

The students see Minton as more than just an aide in the classroom; many have developed personal relationships with her.

"They'll draw pictures for me, they'll write me little notes or come and give me hugs," Minton said. "That makes me feel good, and it makes me feel special."

Minton said her favorite thing about volunteering in the foster grandparent program is watching the children develop skills and overcome the problems they may be having.

Minton said she plans to move to Texas to spend more time with her family.

Copyright 2017 KAIT. All rights reserved.

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