Kent woman receives honor for volunteer work in schools

Mary Floyd is part of a foster grandparent program that mentors children

Mary Floyd

Mary Floyd

A Kent woman received a Sound Generations award for her volunteer work mentoring children in Kent schools.

Mary Floyd, 77, received a Inspire Positive Aging Intergenerational Impact Award this month from Sound Generations, a Seattle-based nonprofit that supports people on their aging journey through community connections and accessible services.

Floyd has volunteered for several years with Lynnwood-based Homage and its Foster Grandparent Program.

“Mary’s work has been heralded by the teachers and staff she comes into contact with,” said Kate Gavigan, outreach specialist for Homage, in an email. “Everyone who meets Mary leaves more delighted and inspired by her indomitable spirit and her enthusiasm for the work she does with kids. To quote one of the teachers she worked with, ‘Mary is a gift to our class!’”

The Foster Grandparent Program, overseen by Homage, is an innovative federally funded program through AmeriCorps Seniors which pairs King or Snohomish County individuals 55 years of age or older with children to provide mentoring, nurturing and support at nonprofit/community locations such as schools, day cares and community centers.

Prior to serving as a volunteer, Floyd worked in banking, with insurance companies, as a Mary Kay sales director and then as a certified substitute teacher.

Even COVID-19 did not deter Floyd from serving the children she feels so passionately about helping. Prior to the pandemic and the subsequent lockdown, she had been serving in the school setting in-person. When the pandemic caused the schools to operate remotely, she took it upon herself to learn the online teaching platforms, navigated technology challenges and coordinated with teachers to see how best she could help them and the students.

She volunteers in Kent with the Kent Valley Early Learning Center.

Homage is seeking additional individuals in Snohomish and King counties interested in becoming foster grandparents. To participate, individuals need to be 55 years of age or older, low-income and be able to volunteer eight hours a week.

Individuals interested can contact Adelheid Arbogast at Homage at 425-514-3188.

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