FAIRMONT, W.Va. – The Marion County Board of Education is revamping one of its long-time programs to help caregivers in their community.  

Marion County Board of Education (WBOY Image)

“Healthy Grandfamilies” is a collaboration between Family Services of Marion and Harrison Counties, Tygart Valley United Way, WVU Extension Services, Legal Aid of WV and the Marion School Systems. 

Grandparents who are raising school-aged children can meet with a group once a week to learn more about a variety of topics.  

The program outreach coordinators address how to navigate the school system, social media, technology, nutrition for themselves and kids and more.  

“West Virginia is second in the nation for grandparents who are raising school-age children, and we feel that impact in Marion County,” said Donna Hage, Marion County Schools Superintendent. “It’s important for us to build relationships out in the communities so that we can have those relationships with families so that students can focus on learning. We know that when we have that trust and when students can not have concerns about things that are basic needs, then they’re able to thrive.”  

Marion County Public Schools buses (WBOY Image)

The next eight-week course begins in March, and Hage is most excited about the networking opportunity this course offers grand families.  

“There are other parents who are raising school-aged children, and they can choose to get together through those classes where a meal is provided as well as childcare and for one evening during those eight weeks, they can talk about things that concern them, problems that they’re having and develop that support system network,” Hage said. 

Additionally, if grand families in Marion County that are raising children don’t take the classes, social workers will be available to provide support.