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Grandparents raising grandchildren | Local grandmother helps others with technology and distance learning

According to a recent academic study, more than 35% of San Antonio grandparents are the primary caregivers for their grandchildren.

SAN ANTONIO — The sounds of a young boy could be heard in the background of the FaceTime call.

"Ok eat your lunch and be still for a few minutes," Mercedes Bristol said.

Raising five children can be a little exhausting but raising five grandchildren, it's a lot. 

"Very tiring," Bristol said with a sigh and a chuckle. This is her reality. 

"It's a challenge for the kids to be accepting that a grandparent is raising them," she said. 

She's not alone. According to a recent academic study, more than 35% of San Antonio grandparents are the primary caregivers for their grandchildren. 

Which is why Bristol created Texas Grandparents raising Grandchildren, a group that connects these families to much-needed help. The group was putting together computer courses for grandparents when the pandemic hit. 

"Our classes and everything has stopped," Bristol said. "It was to be able to empower these grandparents with how to use technology.

Knowledge they could really use right about now. 

Although many school districts have passed out tablets and laptops not many grandparents can help guide their kids on how to use it.

"A lot of time we get categorized in a pool of parents that are much younger than us that have a lot more stamina and energy and knowledge of what their children should be doing," Bristol added.

"So I think stepping up and looking at these grandparents that don't have all of these tools and help us through that." 

Help, Bristol hopes school districts realize is much needed as grandparents navigate through a pandemic as successfully and safely as possible.

"This pandemic is real and it's dangerous for our population," she said.

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