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VIS honors volunteers for service

It has been said it takes a village to raise a child, and that’s what a group of local residents joined together to do more than a year ago.

Volunteers in Schools (VIS) was organized in May 2009, coordinator Marrianne DuBose said, and those volunteers were honored Thursday with a reception.

“Last year in May, we started this and we put our first volunteer in the schools in October 2009,” she said. “This has been a very well-thought out and heart-giving program.”

DuBose said the program met its goal of getting 75 people to sign up for the program.

“We estimate that the volunteers dedicated more than 600 hours of time to the schools,” she said. “That means VIS worked 51 percent of the hours worked during a school year.”

DuBose thanked each volunteer for the time they invested in the lives of the next generation.

Interim superintendent Ted Watson agreed.

“Thank you all for your service,” he said. “This first year has been a great success. I solicit your continued support for next school year. The state provides the basics (classes). What we have beyond that is in your hands.”

Representing Andalusia High School, Perry Dillard, thanked the volunteers for coming once a week and helping with remediation.

“We had seven students who had not passed the graduation exam and these volunteers worked with them,” he said. “All seven passed. This is an awesome program.”

Linda Kyle, a teacher at Andalusia Middle School, told the group of an unconventional way one VIS volunteer helped at AMS.

Kyle said the sixth grade students worked to prepare a cookbook and one of the volunteers worked to edit the book.

Andalusia Elementary School principal Patty Taylor said the program had been very successful at AES.

“It leaves you with a blessing, but you have blessed our students,” she said. “We appreciate you showing a child you care.”

The program was one of former superintendent Dr. Beverly McAnulty’s goals when she came to Andalusia five years ago.

“What you do for children is immeasurable. You are an answer to a prayer and their hope,” she said.

Volunteers Wendy Andrews, Ruby Roberts, Marcia Reichert, Janet Wofford and Janet Beste were recognized Thursday. | Kendra Bolling/Star-News