Volunteer for YMCA Reads

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 volunteer@lakelandlocal.com. Please include a contact name, relevant info, and a small photo or logo if you have one.

Our first opportunity is from the YMCA…

YMCAIntroducing 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)
Training provided
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 dorene.walter@ymcawcf.org

* – Those outside Lakeland can have their opportunities featured at MetroI4News.com by emailing us at volunteer@metroi4news.com.

4 thoughts on “Volunteer for YMCA Reads

  1. I appreciate this article. It articulates the need for many students to have someone they can work with in education and talk with about life. My heart initially tells me that this need should be met by the parents and families of these students.

    The family is a critical component to any childs life. When it comes to education, no greater statistic stands truer today than the achievement gap between students whose parents are involved in their education process and those who do not have that support. Personal responsibility, safety and education are key elements to bringing up the next generation.

    After 10 years of experience leading a volunteer program in my childrens elementary and middle schools, Schools And Families Engaged (the S.A.F.E. TEAM on Campus) was launched in 2008 to meet the needs of schools and families. Many of the school’s families do not know where to begin in school. Many parents today never had an example of their parents supporting the school let alone they may not have enjoyed their personal schooling experience. Why would they have a desire to serve? You only know what you have experienced.

    Make time to check out our site http://www.thesafeteam.com . On the About SAFE page, click on the 40 Developmental Assets link. This will tie in all the benefits of families and communities supporting their students both in school and out of school.

  2. I appreciate this article. It articulates the need for many students to have someone they can work with in education and talk with about life. My heart initially tells me that this need should be met by the parents and families of these students.

    The family is a critical component to any childs life. When it comes to education, no greater statistic stands truer today than the achievement gap between students whose parents are involved in their education process and those who do not have that support. Personal responsibility, safety and education are key elements to bringing up the next generation.

    After 10 years of experience leading a volunteer program in my childrens elementary and middle schools, Schools And Families Engaged (the S.A.F.E. TEAM on Campus) was launched in 2008 to meet the needs of schools and families. Many of the school’s families do not know where to begin in school. Many parents today never had an example of their parents supporting the school let alone they may not have enjoyed their personal schooling experience. Why would they have a desire to serve? You only know what you have experienced.

    Make time to check out our site http://www.thesafeteam.com . On the About SAFE page, click on the 40 Developmental Assets link. This will tie in all the benefits of families and communities supporting their students both in school and out of school.

  3. Pingback: COMBO’s S.A.F.E. Blog » Blog Archive » COMBO’s Media Article Comments January 27, 2009

  4. Pingback: COMBO’s S.A.F.E. Blog » Blog Archive » COMBO’s Volunteer/Mentor Media Article Comments for January

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