Grandma Mariya
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Grandma Mariya

We would like to introduce you to Mariya Melamud, a volunteer in Ms. Favell's classroom with the Lutheran Social Service Foster Grandparent program.  The Foster Grandparent program is an intergenerational volunteer program for people age 55 and older who help tutor and mentor children. Grandma Mariya has been a volunteer with the Foster Grandparent program for 14 years and has spent 10 years at Whittier.  She spends about 15- 20 hours a week at Whittier. She is originally from Kiev, Ukraine.  When Ms. Melamud was 16 years old, her father passed away and she went to work full-time to help her mother and little brother.  She studied on her own and was able to graduate from high school and then from the University.  She has a degree in education and worked for 28 years as a high school math teacher in Ukraine.  Ms. Melamud was married to Mikail, who also served as a foster grandparent at Whittier. Mikail passed away in 2014.  She  has 2 sons, 3 grandsons and 3 granddaughters.  She likes being at Whittier because she loves children and is very proud of them when she sees them make progress after she helps them.  Ms. Melamud also enjoys helping the teacher with classroom preparation work so that the teacher can spend more time with the students.  We are incredibly honored to have Grandma Mariya at Whittier.