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CLASS GRANNY: Synco organizing group to aid teachers financially

Those who proudly wear the title of grandmother or granny know exactly what the antiquated term “room mother” means. But in many school systems, “room mothers” are about as extinct as dinosaurs.

However, Barbara Synco of Troy has it on her heart to bring room mothers back into the classroom, figuratively speaking.

Synco is in the process of organizing a group of Classroom Grannies that will provide assistance to the teachers at Troy Elementary School in a variety of ways.

“The purpose of Classroom Grannies is to financially aid teachers in providing items for their students that would have to be purchased by the teachers with their own money,” Synco said. “It is well known that necessary items for students are often in short supply as the school year lengthens. Because of various circumstances some parents are not able to provide classroom items and supplies for their children, especially those who have large families.”

Even when parents are able to purchase all the items on the school supply list at the beginning of the year, many of those items run out during the school year, especially when there is an outbreak of cold, flu or viruses.

“When that happens, the teachers have to purchase necessary items like paper towels, facial tissue Clorox wipes and personal hygiene products out of their own pockets,” Synco said. “What Classroom Grannies will be asked to do is to spend no more than $100 per year to assist a teacher with meeting classroom needs.

“Of course, if a Classroom Granny wants to spend more, that would be completely between the teacher and the granny. Some grannies might want to bake cookies for Valentine’s Day or something similar. But, again, that’s up to the grannies and the teachers.”

Synco said the degree to which a Classroom Granny is involved depends on her or him.

“Being a Classroom Granny is not limited to women,” she said. “A Granny can be a granddaddy. We welcome them both.”

Additional suggested items for Classroom Grannies include snacks without peanut butter, drinks without red coloring, pencils, crayons, socks, belts and small clothing items

“The teachers and the grannies will work together to meet the needs of the students as they occur,” Synco said. “If Grannies have teacher preferences, we’ll try to honor those if possible. However, most of the grannies assigned to classrooms will be selected by blind draw.”

Troy Elementary School has 75 teachers; therefore, 75 grannies are needed.

“Classroom teachers will be matched first and then resource teachers,” Synco said. “The Classroom Grannies will provide financial assistance to our teachers. The Classroom Grannies Project will also provide opportunities for the our grannies to contribute to the educational process at Troy Elementary School.”

For more information or to become a Classroom Granny, call Synco at 566-1612 or 492-1991 or contact her on Facebook at Barbara Griffin Synco.