NewsPositively Hampton Roads


People Taking Action: Local grandma is surprised at school where she volunteers as foster grandparent!

Posted at 6:12 PM, May 29, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-29 18:12:10-04

HAMPTON, Va. - Her name is Cleo Byrd, but at Hampton's Bassette Elementary, she's known as Grandma Byrd.

When News 3 showed up at the school and surprised her, we told her it was all thanks to her son, Larry Santiful.

"So she could be recognized throughout the community," Larry said as he explained why he nominated her.

Monday through Friday you will find Grandma Byrd moving up and the hallways going from classroom to classroom. Keep in mind she's a breast cancer survivor and in years past has had hip and knee replacement surgery.

The kids love her. She helps them with their reading, writing and math - in a grandmotherly way. This is her fifth year volunteering with the school's foster grandparent program, which is why News 3 is giving her a People Taking Action award along with a $300 Visa gift card from our community partner, Southern Bank.

She was very appreciative.

"Thank you! Thank you! But I don't do surprises very well," she told me with a laugh.

So at 71 years old, why is she so committed to volunteering at the school Monday through Friday?

"I could be sitting at home getting all wrinkly, bones aching," Grandma Byrd said. "'Least they keep me moving."

To further illustrate her giving spirit, she's donating her $300 gift card to the school to help when they hold special holiday dinners for the kids.