Volunteers poised to begin 2nd year in schools

Published 1:34 am Saturday, September 4, 2010

More than 100 people answered the “Volunteers in Schools” plea, said program coordinator Marrianne DuBose.

The program, which kicked off last fall, is a volunteer program in which community members help students and teachers.

DuBose said so far she had 101 volunteers in the VIS database, and hopes to add 100 more to that list.

“Fifty-one of those 101 have gone through orientation and a background check and are ready to go into the classroom,” she said. “The other 50 percent are waiting to be approved.”

DuBose said that several businesses and a local sports team have stepped up, as well.

“Southeast Alabama Gas District and Superior Bank have decided to help,” she said. “Each of them have about 10 employees who have gone through the program to be approved.”

These employees will volunteer where needed in the school system.

In addition about 20 players from the LBWCC Saints baseball team have signed up, she said.

“We hope to use them in our elementary school,” she said. “I think that the kids being able to see those boys in the sports will be very beneficial to them.”

DuBose said the requests from teachers are already pouring in.

“We had a couple of requests before school even started,” she said. “The teachers are more aware of the efforts. They understand the protocol and the steps. That’s the big thing, and that’s one reason we are up and running so quickly this year.”

DuBose said VIS has received requests from hanging students’ art work to providing math and reading assistance.

“Reading is so important especially with these young children for them to get the basics down,” she said. “Any time you can devote to any child, whether they are above the scale or not. It’s going to benefit everyone.”

While DuBose said she hasn’t necessarily set a specific goal for the new year, she’d like to see the number double last year’s goal of 75.

“I’d like to see 150 to 200 in our database,” she said.

Anyone interested in becoming a volunteer can submit an application through the Andalusia City Schools Web site or they may obtain a paper copy at the central office.

Once an application is submitted, applicants must attend an orientation and then undergo a background check.

DuBose said she is planning to set up orientation dates later this month.