Volunteering can help children read better

Published 12:21 pm Monday, February 12, 2007

By Staff
The HOSTS Program of Fairplain West School in Benton Harbor helps students succeed one at a time. Volunteer mentors should be 16 or older and pass a security check. Training will be provided along with a prepared lesson plan. Mentors will work with children on reading, vocabulary, language arts and writing for 45 minutes at a time of their choosing between 9:30 a.m. and 3:15 p.m. Your one-on-one assistance will help the child read better. When reading skills improve students do better in all schoolwork. Some mentors have arranged with their employers to allow them to go once a week over their lunch hour. Get re-connected with the joy of reading by contacting the Volunteer Center.
You'll be amazed at all the happenings at the North Berrien Historical Society Museum in Coloma. They have log cabins, two barns, a house and almost five acres to display historical artifacts. The all-volunteer group is excited about hiring a new director and many volunteer opportunities are waiting for you. If office work and computers are your interest, a part time secretarial position is available. If you are interested in playing a leadership role, you could become the Coordinator of Volunteers. You would organize current volunteer efforts as well as work with the Volunteer Center to recruit new volunteers. Make history come alive! Contact the Volunteer Center to connect.
There are many volunteer opportunities to help women and children in crisis. The Emergency Shelter in Benton Harbor provides a safe environment for those without a place to stay. Once a month, usually the last Wednesday, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. mothers staying in the Shelter, or women from the community, can participate in a Sisterhood Club. This outreach program offers the mothers support and education. Volunteer childcare supervisors will oversee other volunteers providing childcare and assure a lesson plan and activities are conducted in an orderly fashion. Polly's Place in Niles is a shelter for abused women. Volunteers can assist with clerical duties, fill the role of office manager, handle crisis calls or drive women to medical and other appointments. A background check is required and training will be provided. The physical building could also use volunteers. Plumbing and electrical work are especially needed. Contact the Volunteer Center to connect.
Give the gift of life, give blood.
Thursday, Feb. 22 – Masonic Lodge 68, 122 N. Oak, Buchanan – noon to 5:45 p.m.
Saturday, Feb. 24 – River Valley Senior Center, 13321 Red Arrow Hwy, Harbert – 9 a.m. to 2:45 p.m.
For a complete listing visit www.berrienredcross.org
Tuesday, Feb. 27 – Community Donor Center, Lakeland Center for Outpatient Services, 3900 Hollywood Road, St. Joseph – noon to 7 p.m.
Saturday, March 3 – Orchards Mall, Benton Harbor – 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
For a complete listing visit www.miblood.org
Do your kids ever complain about how hard life is? Do you catch yourself saying "You don't know how good you have it!" Instead of telling them, why not show them? Poverty and need are not something you have to travel to find…it is in your own backyard. People are lonely without family; they are homeless without resources; they are struggling to make a good life. Help your children connect with reality; contact the Volunteer Center. You may be surprised when you connect with your children as well.
To connect with any of these volunteer opportunities, call the Volunteer Center of Southwest Michigan in Niles at (269) 683-5464.