The need continues for volunteers to mentor students in grades K-12 in Winston-Salem/Forsyth County schools. Currently, there is a need for more than 350 volunteers.
Graduate. It Pays. (GIP), a local community initiative, helps create awareness in the community for adult volunteers interested in working with students who are not succeeding at grade level or who are in jeopardy of not graduating. GIP highlights the programs offered through Big Brothers Big Sisters and the Winston-Salem Chamber of Commerce. Volunteers are asked to meet one hour each week with students at the school during school hours at a time that works for each person. Teaching or tutoring is not a requirement. Volunteers must just open their hearts, listen with respect, inspire and be there each week.
“We are a month into the school year and our students really need your help,” said Pamela Suber of Big Brothers Big Sisters, which offers school-based programs and its traditional community match programs. “The ones in need find school difficult and benefit from another adult in their lives willing to listen, encourage and offer advice. That’s all we are asking: one hour a week.”
Recent volunteers have nothing but praise about their experience.
“I found working with my student very rewarding. I felt I was making a difference,” said Lillian Maxwell, a corporate volunteer from Arbor Acres.
“My school did an excellent job communicating with the volunteers,” said Gina Muse, a corporate volunteer from R.J. Reynolds Tobacco. “They continuously showed their appreciation to us. They have a sincere and genuine love and concern for their students.”
The efforts of volunteers have paid off in recent years. District-wide, more than 80 percent of seniors graduated in 2012 from Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools in four years, the fifth straight year the district’s graduation rate has increased.
For more information on how you can volunteer as a caring adult, please visit HYPERLINK “http://www.graduateitpays.org” www.graduateitpays.org.