How this school uses foster grandparents to build successful students

Students at Mendenhall Elementary School in Tampa have tapped a wonderful resource for teaching. Someone who loves kids, Who is friendly and kind, And always willing to listen --  A grandma. 

69-year-old JoAnn Thomas volunteers with the Foster Grandparent Program to tutor and mentor elementary school students who are having problems learning in the classroom.

“Good morning, everybody,” she says as she enters the class. “Hello. Do you want to give me a hug today?” 

Foster grandparenting started 52 years ago, and has helped more than 3,000 students. A Foster Grandparent is someone with time, love and understanding, who enjoys being around children and wants to help them to be their best. 

“I love working with the children. I love kids,” JoAnn told FOX 13. “I help them with their reading. I help them with their alphabets, their numbers, help them sign on the computer in the morning.”

Tammy Criollo with Seniors in Service says, "It's a perfect marriage. We have retirees who want to give back and have love and care and skills to teach children to read."

Because every child deserves to be spoiled by a grandma.

"It just lights up my day. I love it," JoAnn said.

Watch the video to see the incredible bond between JoAnn and her students.