Meet Grumpa – our extraordinary & much loved volunteer

Grumpa and staff3Stewart Stainton has been a valued volunteer and member of the Compass ELC Victoria Graduate Program family for over 18 years.  After his granddaughter enrolled in the program, he offered to play Santa Claus.  During that first visit, Stewart, better known as “Grumpa” to the staff and children, realized he wanted to be a part of our organization.  “Grumpa” was how his young granddaughter pronounced “Grandpa” and the children alongside her started to also affectionately call him that, and the name stuck.

When asked about his dedication, Stewart responds, “I believe in the whole education system and early learning is the most important part because what is offered in those first five years is going to set the foundation and be with the children forever.”

Grumpa reading to child

Twice a week Grumpa spends his time at our Victoria Graduate program reading with the children. “There is always someone to be read to,” he said with his infectious grin.  Stewart boasts that the children keep him young, and that, “I take far more out of here than what I give.”

When asked what he might say to someone thinking about volunteering with Compass Early Learning and Care, Stewart said he would strongly encourage them to do so.  “Enjoy…the place, kids, atmosphere and all the sounds that come out. Go in and sit in one of the chairs and watch the children, what they explore and see, and do what they do!”

  When we asked the children about Grumpa and what he means to them, I think Jack speaks for all of us…

” You are special, we love you Grumpa.”- Jack (age 3)

IMG_6462 reading to childrenIMG_0259     IMG_6222 Grumpa and Infant

Submitted by Angela Hoar, Pedagogical Leader

For information about volunteer opportunities with Compass Early Learning and Care, please contact Director of Human Resources Jenny Cullen at 1 (855) 749-3488.

To read previously posted Compass ELC Blogs, please click HERE.