Grandparent's Advocacy Project

Award Recipients - 1999

Kathryn Elizabeth Irene Gibson, Founder & Director

Kathryn Elizabeth Irene Gibson founded the Grandparents Advocacy Project (GAP) in 1998 to serve grandparents and other relatives who are primary caregivers of children not being cared for by their biological parents.  According to Census Bureau figures, more than 4 million children were being raised in grandparent-headed households in 1996, and of these, grandparents are raising 1.4 million children by themselves.  Statistics show that African American children are more likely to live with grandparents or other relative than other children and that the median income of grandparent headed households is $18,000.  GAP responds to the growing needs of these families in four areas: personal advocacy, education, health and fitness, and respite.
Ms. Gibson launched GAP in 1998 with a ten-week aerobics and aquatic exercise program for 25 to 30 seniors in the Northeast Bronx.  Since 1998, she has represented grandparents and grandchildren in administrative hearings, organized monthly information and educational forums and arranged for needed health services.  Ms. Gibson also helps enroll grandparents in educational programs ranging from GED to adult education college courses and advocacy awareness training.  Presently, GAP has 40 to 50 participants, mainly women 47 to 84 years old, who meet during the day while the children are in school.

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