Northeast D.C. public charter school celebrates 90-year-old foster grandmother

Northeast DC public charter school celebrates 90-year-old foster grandmother. (Photo: Kellye Lynn, ABC7)

Everyone knows who Grandma is in Dominique Foster's pre-kindergarten class.

"She means everything. She is just a very warm presence in the classroom and for many of them she is their grandma," Foster said.

"Grandma is my favorite grandma in the whole wide world and I love her," said 4-year-old Rae-Onna Newman.

That affection is what keeps Janie Creswell coming back to Friendship Public Charter School in Northeast eight hours a day, five days a week.

"Children, the kids. They tell me their little secrets," Creswell said.

For 26 years the dedicated volunteer has been devoting her time to various schools in D.C. through the United Planning Organization Foster Grandparent Program. UPO trains seniors to provide attention, guidance, and support to local students.

5-year-old Kamari Carter said, "They're helping me learn my ABCs and I'm learning how to read."

"She contributes so much more than just the instructional support that I need. She gives a lot of emotional support to the teachers and the children," Foster said.

Jamar Copeland, a third grader at Friendship who was once assisted by Creswell said, "She used to help me with my work and make sure that I was good in the classroom."

For all she does, Creswell, who just turned 90-years old, says she gets as much as she gives.

"They tell me they love me and very few older people tell you they love you. It means a lot to me. It keeps me going," she said.

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