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VIS program calling for volunteers

Some 18 requests for help have yet to be ffilled as part of the Andalusia City Schools Volunteers in Schools campaign due to the need for more volunteers.

“We need volunteers at every grade level,” said VIS program coordinator Marrianne DuBose

The program has been in the works since May and already has volunteers helping in the classroom, but is in need of more.

VIS is group of volunteers involved in the city schools, from kindergarten through the 12th grade. These volunteers assist students and personnel in many different areas, including tutoring, mentoring and clerical work.

At Andalusia Elementary School, reading and math assitance is needed in every grade.

After-school help is needed at Andalusia Middle School for the after school program, which runs from 3 to 4:30 p.m.

“We need volunteers to help with homework and review,” DuBose said. “A lot of these (requests), you don’t have to have the knowledge. The teachers have flash cards and other materials.”

Some volunteer requests are for simple tasks such as making copies for teachers and being an extra set of eyes and ears for a PE teacher, DuBose said.

Those who have already chipped in to help say they have taken so much from helping the students.

“I’ve been working with some students, helping them reading,” said VIS volunteer Janet Beste. ”

It doesn’t matter if one can only contribute 15 minutes, the help is needed.

“There are some teachers who just need someone to read for 15 minutes while students are waiting to load the buses or for their parents to pick them up,” DuBose said.

While there are no current requests at the high school, one volunteer knows just how much a little effort can help these students.

Janet Wofford volunteered last semester at Andalusia High School, where she was assigned six seniors who hadn’t passed the history portion of the Alabama High School Graduation Exam.

“We did flash cards of about 100 different American history facts,” she said.

All six of the students passed the history exam.

Superintendent Beverly McAnulty said the VIS effort has been a success, but more volunteers are needed for the program’s success to continue.

DuBose said the goal is 75 volunteers by the end of the year. Currently, there are only 47 applicants, and not everyone has gone through the 30-minute orientation process.

The process includes a 30-minute orientation and then a background check.

Those who wish to volunteer in the program must be at least 19 years old, have completed at least a high school education and must pass a strict background check.

To apply, prospective volunteers can fill out a form at the ACS Web site at andalusiacityschools.net or call the central office at 222-3186.

However, there are only four sessions remaining for this school year, which will be held Feb. 2 at 8 a.m., Feb. 4 at noon, Feb. 8 at noon, Feb. 10 at 5 p.m.

All orientations will be held at the Central Office located behind City Hall.