Community

Classroom program seeks volunteers

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Recent statistics from the Indiana Department of Education show many Indiana elementary students need help.

On Aug. 10, the IDOE reported that the recent IRead results showed that nearly one in five students “have not mastered foundational reading skills by the end of third grade.”

While Montgomery County children are blessed with excellent schools, there are still some students who need extra help to improve or receive enrichment.

“Are you a person who just shakes his or her head when hearing this type of statistic or are you more willing to lend a hand to help make a change,” asked Denise Booher Walker, president of the board for the Volunteers for Mental Health in Montgomery County.

Until it had to be paused due to school COVID protocols, the VMHMC administered its Teachers Friend program which matched community volunteers with teachers. The program has now been revived and is in need of volunteers.

Volunteers do not need to have a college degree, be a trained teacher, plan lessons or create materials. The Teacher Friend works under the direction of the classroom teacher to help meet his or her’s goals and objectives for students. Often this is accomplished by the volunteer working with a small group of students to assist with reading or mathematics.

Participants can volunteer as little or as much as they want, Booher Walker said.

Teacher Friend volunteers must complete a background. All three county school corporations have established clearance procedures that are easily accomplished and quickly determined.

VMHMC also offers scholarships to help individuals who wish to volunteer but do not have extra funds.

To get involved, visit the VMHMC website www.vmhmc.org and click on the yellow volunteer registration button to learn more details as well as choose a time and school for volunteering. Volunteers also may use the Montgomery County Leadership Academy POINT volunteer app https://events.pointapp.org/11313/.

For more information, call Denise Booher Walker at 765-275-2689 or email her at dbw@vmhmc.org/.

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