Virtual community for grandparent raising grandchildren

A new virtual community for grandparent raising grandchildren (GRG) families on the Central Coast has been formed.

Central Coast Family Support Services (CCFSS) and the Centre of Excellence for Equity in Higher Education at the University of Newcastle, have come together to form the GRG Children’s University.

Launched on May 12, GRG Children’s University is an online group created and facilitated by CCFSS, with support from Children’s University Newcastle, designed to provide activities for the grandchildren to take part in at home and online from Monday to Friday.

Behind the scenes at Toronto Zoo, under the sea at Underwater Water World, learning about the way in which water flows in our very own gardens, the learning scenarios offered by GRG are endless, with the new resource a valuable opportunity to spark creativity and encourage the fun of learning whilst these families are housebound.

As the children take part, their grandparents fill in their passports to mark the hours spent on each project.

At the end of the year, these hours are tallied and each child receives a certificate at the graduation ceremony to celebrate their learning.

This unique opportunity provides not only exciting activities but also provides a community for these children to interact in.

With many missing friendships and human interaction, this is a platform to encourage both social interaction and the love of learning.

“For many of us, COVID-19 has been a time of additional stress, with less time for self care, meaning that electronics and games have featured even more heavily than usual, providing a much needed babysitter for all,” said CCFSS Project Worker, Kristina Gowlland.

“However, by speaking the virtual language of the children and providing tech type activities to be involved in, this truly marks the start of a positive new way of looking at electronics.

“Safe virtual educational experiences with human interactions online have increased the desire to learn and grow.

“We invite you to share our story and feature the exciting opportunities which are available for grandparents raising grandchildren families on the Central Coast,” Gowlland said.

Press release, May 5
Kristina Gowlland, Central Coast Family Support Services