LARAMIE, Wyo. (March 23, 2021) – Laura Logan is one of the Linford Elementary students’ favorite people at school. As the Foster Grandma to the children, Logan does a lot of different things and fills a lot of different roles. That is, until COVID-19 restrictions meant that she had to stay home. It was a change of pace from all the time she normally spent at Linford.

“When I first started, I worked in both fourth-grade rooms, but the last year that I was there, I only had one fourth-grade room to be in because the other teach had a really tiny classroom,” Logan said. “In the afternoons, I would spend time in the library and help Ms. (Stefanie) Hunt with checking out the books, helping kids find the books they wanted, and helping them with their computers. They would learn something that day to do on the computer, and I would help those that needed the help with whatever they were doing on the computer.

“Sometimes, I would read to them. There was always, at the start of the library period, a book was always read. It was either me or Ms. Hunt, or sometimes, we would read them together for the kids.”

Logan did a little bit of everything at Linford. She would help kids who had a hard time focusing on reading quizzes, help in the music room, and even work with the rambunctious preschoolers who weren’t quite ready for a full day of school.

“It’s not at all boring, when there’s little kids,” Logan said. “I helped in the lunch room, too, just kind of watching the kids and helping them open their containers and get the right foods.”

Then, when COVID-19 hit, she no longer had the chances to interact with the kids at Linford. However, Logan learned about Zoom, and took trainings on the video communication software from the Foster Grandparents office here in Laramie.

“They’ve been teaching us, so while we are shut in, we can order groceries, attend training meetings, and learn how to use tablets. They teach us the things we need to know on our computers so we can check our emails and Zoom with the kids. We do an hour each training and there’s two a week.”

When Stefanie Hunt, the Linford Library Media Specialist, found out Logan was being trained on Zoom, she set up times for Logan to meet with the students again.

“Ms. Hunt sent me an email once, and said she had it all set up to Zoom if I wanted to Zoom with the kids,” Logan said. “I could read to them or they could read to me, and it could be set up for the library period. I said ‘that would be awesome.’ So, Ms. Hunt is the one that actually came up with the program, and she set it all up and got the Zoom all set up to go. She gives me the times and the Zoom address, and I meet her there, and it’s been working really well.”

The students at Linford couldn’t be happier that Logan is back. In fact, there’s always a rush to see who gets to chat with their foster grandma that day.

“Actually, they were fighting over who got to go first,” Logan said. “Ms. Hunt says she always has to pick and choose because they fight over who gets to be first.”

Even though things aren’t quite back to normal for everyone yet, getting the opportunity to see the children again with Zoom means a tremendous amount to Logan.

“It’s been so easy to do, and it’s the highlight of my day. I look forward to it,” Logan said.

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