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Grandparents Raising Grands Can Find Helpful Services at Resource Fair Feb. 16

Some of the best testimonials about the power of libraries come from grandparents, aunts and uncles who frequent our storytimes and programs with their youngsters.

One uncle and his 2-year-old niece are regulars at the Library Station’s Tiny Tots Storytimes. He raves about how much Sophia enjoys coming to hear stories and songs. If he even mentions the word “storytime,” she gets excited and knows exactly what that means.

A grandmother, knowing her out-of-town granddaughter is a huge Harry Potter fan, made sure she attended the library’s fall programs and had an out-of-county library card to use while visiting, because she’s a voracious reader.  

 Grandparents and extended family members use all kinds of resources to strengthen family bonds, enrich their lives or just have fun. It’s especially true for grandparents and extended family members who are raising their grandchildren.    

            The U.S. Census Bureau reports that nearly 3 million grandparents across the country are caring for their children’s children. The role isn’t always as simple as “being a parent” to young children or teenagers again. The “Grandparenting Generation” takes on significant caretaking responsibilities, and it’s often hard to know where to turn for the diverse needs.

Help is coming. The Grandparents Raising Grandchildren Resource Fair returns on Saturday, Feb. 16, from 1-4 p.m. at the Library Station. The fair will be staffed by agencies that can provide a little or a lot of guidance to families in areas ranging from health care to child care to literacy. Refreshments will be provided and activities will be available for children and families.

Visitors will be able to browse booths and talk to “helper” agencies including Abilities First, Community Partnership of the Ozarks/Parent-Teen Café, Fairbanks Community Center, Foster Adopt Connect, Jordan Valley Pediatrics, Early Childhood One Stop, and WIC (Women, Infants & Children), MO Chip.org, sponsored by the Solomon Masonic Lodge #271, will also create Child Identification Kits.

The event is sponsored by the Springfield-Greene County Libraries, Be A Jewell and Grands Raising Grands, with additional community partners.

            Registration is requested but not required; call 616-0683.

Kathleen O'Dell is community relations director for the Springfield-Greene County Library District. She can be reached at kathleeno@thelibrary.org.

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