Thursday, October 26, 2017

Can you give an hour a week for Empowering kids?

More than 30 students waiting for help

GREENVILLE – Each day, Monday through Thursday, 35 to 40 students, kindergarten through seventh grade, head to the cafeteria at Greenville’s new K-8 facility. The same happens with about half that number on Fridays. All are part of the Empowering Darke County Youth After School Program.

Each day, Edison College student volunteers work with the kids, helping them with reading, writing and math skills. Some older students may be struggling with homework assignments; they get the help they need. Depending on the schedules of the Edison students, 13 to 15 volunteers provide the needed help daily; about half that number on Fridays.

“It works well,” said Bob Robinson, Program Coordinator. “Greenville students are getting help; Edison students are getting community service, plus experience working with a young audience. They are passing on skills they learned years earlier.”

The Empowering After School Program currently serves more than 60 students seeking help on various days each week. Unfortunately, more than 30 students are on a waiting list due to the lack of volunteers.
Can you give these kids one hour a week?

“Empowering needs volunteer tutors plus volunteer support help,” Robinson said. “Even if you aren’t comfortable tutoring, a volunteer each day to take care of snacks, or to log student attendance and participation, frees up another volunteer to work with one or more students.”

With more community support, the After School Program can begin to move students from the Waiting List into the program. Without this support, most of those students will likely not get the help they need.

Empowering Darke County Youth is a United Way Partner Agency. Its After School Program is in its second year, and has experienced a huge increase in requests for help from its first year. This means a proportional increase in community support is needed.

Financial donations can help obtain licensed and experienced tutors to provide additional tutoring, plus backup and support for the Edison volunteers. Snack donations can help relieve a major expense in providing snacks to more than 150 students every week…

“But more than anything else, we need caring adults to give us one or more hours each week,” Robinson said. “Each hour can help make a huge difference in the lives of some of these kids.”

Anyone interested can message Empowering’s Facebook page, email, or leave a message for Robinson at Edison State Community College, 548-5546. Financial help can be sent to P.O. Box 1113, Greenville 45331.

The Empowering Mission: Empowering Darke County Youth provides After School and Summer Tutoring programs to assist students in the areas of language arts and math with the goal of Strong Students for a Strong Community.

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