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LCCS names gymnasium Henderson Hall

[SEPT. 10, 2001]  Lincoln Christian College and Seminary has unveiled a name for its present gymnasium: Henderson Hall. The name is in honor of LCCS faculty member Dr. Marion Henderson.

Henderson has served on the faculty at LCCS from 1951 to 1976 and from 1986 to the present. On May 4, 1995, he was recognized as Distinguished Professor of New Testament, the only LCC professor to hold the title of Distinguished Professor.


He has a legacy as coach, mentor, friend and professor. He has sustained an eager audience of large numbers of students over the years. He has influenced thousands of students with his knowledge of and love for God’s word. He is a teacher of students, loved by students and appreciated by all.


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Henderson was one of the first Lincoln Bible Institute (later known as LCC) basketball players. He later became known as "Coach," and over the years he has served as athletic director, men’s basketball coach, baseball coach and women’s basketball coach.

The current gymnasium has been a versatile structure that has served a variety of purposes. From 1952 to 1973 the gym was also the place where the entire student body met for worship. It has been used as a lecture hall for seminars and special events, a banquet room for events such as homecoming, Ladies’ Day and student banquets, and as a classroom, to name only a few.

[LCCS news release]


Foster grandmas help other people’s children succeed in school

[AUG. 31, 2001]  Rita Jackson of Lincoln has 14 grandchildren and 18 great-grandchildren of her own, but she still has room in her heart for a few dozen more.

She’s one of 70 foster grandmas who go to area schools to help other people’s children, especially those who have special needs, such as problems learning. She’s been in the program since 1989 and she loves it.

"I just enjoy being with the children. For a while I worked with the Lincoln Developmental Center. I often took children for walks.

"Now I work in the library of West Lincoln-Broadwell School. I read to different classes and help them find books they will like. They really enjoy being read to. It gets them into the habit of reading by themselves."


Blanche Hoelscher of Lincoln also goes to West Lincoln-Broadwell, but she stays in a second-grade classroom.

"I work with children that need extra help. I grade their spelling and math, help them study, explain things. I do whatever needs to be done. The children are so precious. The more I can do, the better I like it."

Blanche has been a foster grandma since 1994 and has no plans to quit.

"The only way they are going to get rid of me is to fire me, or if I die," she says. "I love the children, and I don’t know what I’d do if I didn’t have this."

Glenva Dellinger of Lincoln will be going back to Northwest School for the fourth year. She, too, is in a classroom.

"I love children, and I need to stay busy. I try to get there early and have two pencils sharpened for every child. The teacher tells me which ones need help, so those are the particular ones I work most with.

"But I also walk around and see who else needs help with something. A lot of them couldn’t spell. Spelling and reading are usually bigger problems than math. I take the children out in the hall, just outside the door, and work with them individually. I grade papers, too, but I don’t let that take me away from the kids.

"I think there are some children who wouldn’t have passed last year if I hadn’t helped them," she adds modestly.

The Foster Grandparent Program started in the 1960s, part of former President Lyndon Johnson’s War on Poverty. The focus of the program has changed since then, with less emphasis on giving help to seniors and more toward the positive impact these foster grandparents can make in the lives of children.

The program started in Lincoln in 1967, when foster grandparents began going to the Lincoln Developmental Center. Eight of them still volunteer there. Then they began going to schools, Head Start programs and day-care programs. The Foster Grandparents Program is part of the service offered by the Central Illinois Economic Development Corporation.

Paula Poe has been director since 1987. She has foster grandparents at 26 sites in eight counties: Logan, Mason, Piatt, DeWitt, Fulton, Menard, Macon and some of Sangamon. Grandmas are in all District 27 elementary schools, along with Chester-East Lincoln and West Lincoln-Broadwell. They are also at Mount Pulaski and would be in other Logan County schools if volunteers were available, Paula says. She is always looking for more volunteers.

Foster grandmas, and foster grandpas as well, must be age 60 or over and meet an income guideline, which can be somewhat flexible. They get 40 hours of orientation, some of it on the job, and four hours a month of in-service training. CIEDC can provide transportation to the school sites, or the grandparents can drive their own cars, Paula says.



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Although technically they are volunteers, the foster grandmas and the several foster grandpas in the program do get a stipend. Right now it’s $198 a month, which can be used to cover any expenses related to their volunteer work.

That comes to something like $2.25 an hour for the four hours they spend in the schools every morning, which is still a good deal more than the $60 a month, or 75 cents an hour, foster grandparents got when the program started.

But as Blanche puts it, they don’t really do it for the money. "I’d do it for nothing. There are things more important than money, like the hugs of those kids."

The Logan County program is one of 10 in Illinois, one of the oldest and biggest. Funding comes from the National Corporation for Senior Services and some from the Illinois Department on Aging. Also, the program has to have 10 percent in local funding, which can be either cash or in kind, such as providing meals for the grandparents.

Most of those who become foster grandparents stay with it, and they are the ones most likely to bring new people into the program.

"Out of all the advertising I’ve done, foster grandparents telling other people is the best advertising I’ve ever had," Paula says.

One grandma has been with the program for 25 years, and another, from Atlanta, will hit the 25-year mark next year. Another was a grandma until she was 94.

"The only reason she’s no longer with us is because she died," Paula says.

At the beginning of the school year, the foster grandparents ask the teachers what they can do for the children. At the end of the school year, Paula asks the teachers what the program actually did accomplish.

"Most of the time, the teachers say the children have improved," she reports.

Since its inception, Paula has had about 450 foster grandparents. Right now she has three foster grandpas and would like to have more.

"Getting grandpas is a problem," says Jane Poertner, executive director of CIEDC. Men of that generation didn’t think taking care of children was men’s work."

Jane gives Paula high marks for her work in the program, and so do others. "I’ve just had reviews from one of our funding sources, and they gave Paula glowing compliments," she says.

Not only is the program good for the children, it quickly becomes an important part of the lives of the grandmas, too.

"My husband died in 1986. I came to Lincoln to be near my son, Jerry," Glenva Dellinger says.

"The children you’ve worked with don’t forget you. When I walk down the hall in the school, I hear, ‘Grandma! Grandma!’ Kids all over town love me, run up and hug me, saying ‘Grandma! Grandma!’ Even the brothers and sisters of the children I’ve helped call me ‘Grandma!’ I’ll stay as long as they’ll keep me."

Blanche lost her youngest daughter to cancer eight years ago. "Being a foster grandma has helped me so much," she says.

"It gives you something to get up in the morning for. It gives you a focus. It’s something to live your life for, a wonderful thing to do," Rita says.

While in the schools or day-care centers, the foster grandmas wear red T-shirts or smocks with the logo of the national organization on them. But they are also recognized without their trademark red tops, and often find themselves being hailed as "Grandma" in local stores and other public places.

Rita remembers just such an incident that happened not long ago in a local store. She was with one of her own granddaughters, age 14.

"A little one came up to me and said, ‘Grandma! Grandma!’ My granddaughter didn’t like it much. She said, ‘She’s not your grandma. She’s mine!’"

Those interested in volunteering can call Paula Poe at 732-9391. Requirements are simple, but the most important one is to love kids.

[Joan Crabb]

Honors & Awards



Lincoln District 27 schools


(Milk served with all meals)

Monday, Sept. 17 — Cereal, peanut butter and jelly sandwich, juice

Tuesday, Sept. 18 — Breakfast pizza, fruit

Wednesday, Sept. 19 — Cereal, toast with apple butter, juice

Thursday, Sept. 20 — Cream of wheat, toast, juice

Friday, Sept. 21 — Cereal, graham crackers, juice



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(Milk served with all meals)

Monday, Sept. 17 — Hot ham and cheese on bun, peas, celery sticks, fruit cocktail

Tuesday, Sept. 18 — Salisbury steak, mashed potatoes, bread and butter, corn

Wednesday, Sept. 19 — Cheesy pizza sandwich, green beans, pears, Trix yogurt

Thursday, Sept. 20 — Sloppy Joes, cole slaw, french fries, orange juice

Friday, Sept. 21 — Pancakes with syrup, sausage patty, hash brown, peaches

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