Before moving to Lakeland, one of my jobs was the manager of volunteers for a not-for-profit. Finding, training, motivating, and retaining volunteers isn’t as easy as you’d believe. Managers in other departments would say with envy, “You don’t have to pay your people to come to work.”
Well, not with anything as easy or tangible as money. Volunteers receive a lot of rewards for their work. It’s too bad they can’t receive weekly paychecks with lines like:
Lives Changed: 3
Smiles Engineered: 43
Hearts Lifted: 17
…and so on. But, managers of volunteers know that their best people are very self-motivated and realize some weeks fewer hearts are lifted, lives changed, and there was nary a smile engineered.
I relate the above to introduce a new feature at Lakeland Local. We will feature volunteer opportunities for any not-for-profit in the metro Lakeland area*. All you need to do is email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include a contact name, relevant info, and a small photo or logo if you have one.
Our first opportunity is from the YMCA…
Introducing YMCA READS! , an after school volunteer literacy/mentoring program working to meet the educational and developmental needs of high-risk students in grades K-3 at Winston Elementary School in Lakeland. YMCA READS! seeks to close the gap in students’ reading performance and the State of Florida’s reading performance expectations. YMCA READS! also provides services to develop the whole child, including meeting each child’s need for relationship building, social skills, character values, and self-esteem. YMCA READS! works closely with each child’s family and school.
Volunteer Mentors are trained to work with 1-2 students, using the Systematic Instruction for Phoneme Awareness, Phonics, and Sight words (SIPPS) curriculum and the After School KidzLit curriculum. Mentors not only complete daily lessons with the students, but also read wonderful stories and provide fun, creative projects as well.
Become a Volunteer Mentor!
Volunteer Mentors are needed to make a difference for a child, a family, a school, and our community!
Volunteers may be 14 years of age and up (community service hours given)
Mentors may volunteer 1-4 days per week (at 3415 Swindell Rd. in Lakeland –Winston Elementary School)
Flexible hours between 2:45-4:45 PM ( 45 minutes to 20 hours a week)
Background screening required (no cost)
If you are interested in having fun while helping a child learn, contact Dorene Walter, YMCA READS! Coordinator at 863.859.7769, or email@example.com
* – Those outside Lakeland can have their opportunities featured at MetroI4News.com by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org.