Ruth’s Story

Ruth is a Foster Grandparent for the Bigelow Head Start program, through a partnership with Lutheran Social Services.  Ruth provided foster care through Ramsey County for about eleven years, eventually adopting the last child for which she cared.  Friends encouraged her to look into the Foster Grandparent Program.

Wanting to give back to the community and discovering she could do so with children at Head Start, Ruth began working at Bigelow in October 2011.  Ruth says her life has changed because she had to learn to slow her life down in order to be able to adjust to the individual needs of the children, “You become a part of the community, you see kids needs and reach out to do whatever you can.  Each child is different.” 

Ruth works in a Head Start classroom every day from 7:30 a.m. until noon.  Every day is different for Ruth; she helps in the classroom by teaching and playing with the kids, aiding teachers, reading stories, and assisting with health needs such as teeth brushing.  Although she does quite a bit of instruction, she is always learning something new from the kids.  

“We teach history and they teach us about what’s going on today and tomorrow.  It is a very rewarding and fulfilling experience, and it helps to get out and be with people every day.  It helps you to look forward to something, because kids’ needs are greater than your own.  It helps me overlook my daily aches and pains.” 

At 80, Ruth hopes to be involved with Head Start as long as she is able.  “You get out what you put in, you’ve got to give in order to get.  I love these children and they are learning so much.  I pray for their needs everyday.”