Grandparents raising children can benefit from Grandfamily Resource Fair

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Joplin, Mo. -- On Feb. 20, University of Missouri Extension and ParentLink, a state-wide non-for-profit parent resource agency, will host 10 interactive resource fairs statewide specifically designed for grandparents raising children.

Locally, the 2008 Grandfamily Resource Fair will be held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Feb. 20 in the conference room at the Freeman Business Center, 675 S Black Cat Rd., Joplin, Mo.

The event is free for grandparents according to Jinny Hopp, human development specialist with University of Missouri Extension.

"Grandparents will have access to top notch services through these fairs. That will include local agencies that can support their specific needs," said Hopp.

When it comes to raising children, grandparents are often an overlooked population.

Based on 2000 U.S. Census data, 96,412 children in Missouri (or 6.8 percent) are living in a household headed by a grandparent another relative who is not the child's biological parent.

"Although there are resources available to grandparents raising their grandchildren, it is often difficult for grandparents to know how and where to access them," said Hopp.

Local sponsors for the event are University of Missouri Extension, the Area Agency on Aging -- Vantage Point, and Freeman Health systems. Grandparents are encouraged to sign up to attend the 2008 Grandfamily Resource Fair to learn more about children's literacy, how to be involved in children's schooling, legal issues, tax assistance and more.

Registration is needed by Feb. 13 so lunch can be provided.

For more information, or to register for the fair, contact Hopp at (417) 358-2158.

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