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I have been volunteering in the public schools for years. The last few, I have been mentoring Wilsonville High School and Wood Middle School students, in an "Academic Mentoring Program". This year the vice principal at the high school recruited more adult volunteers and I coordinated the program as well as mentored students.
The volunteers work with specific students for one or two hours a week to improve their academic success. We work on organization, motivation, study skills, some tutoring but mostly mentoring - basically we work to help the students that have been falling thru the cracks. These students are academically capable, but for many reasons are not academically successful.
I still have 2 children in college and, because of the current economic climate, I need to get a paying job to help with expenses. I won't be able to continue to volunteer my time to coordinate this program.
My idea is to use this money to fund Academic Mentor Program volunteer coordinators for our middle and high schools in Oregon. This person acts as a liason for all involved people; teachers, counselors, parents, students and volunteers.
The coordinator gets a referral from a staff member, interviews the student to make sure they are interested, discusses the program with the student's parent for input and buy-in, connects the student with a mentor, and works with the mentor and teachers to check on progress. Students get reminders on the days they meet with their mentor, and the coordinator works on making sure that calendar changes (absence, doctor, dentist, vacation, etc.) are communicated to both mentor and student. Also, the coordinator continues to recruit new adult volunteers from the community.
I believe strongly in this program, and was able to get it started, with additional volunteers, in the middle school the last few weeks of the school year. I would love to be able to continue in this position, but must get a paying job (as stated earlier). I truly feel that the more positive adult connections we can make with our students, the better chance they have of finding their way.
posted 2 years, 10 months ago
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