Friday, July 27, 2012

Volunteers help students succeed

By DIANE HENTGES, Director of the Volunteer Center at the United Way of Wyandotte County

Even though the temperatures are hot, the start of school is just around the corner.

There are programs in our area that help young people with learning. These programs need the commitment of volunteers who can serve as role models, tutors, and mentors. Most programs that work with youth will require a face to face interview and background checks of perspective volunteers.

Home Ties is a youth residential center program of Associated Youth Services, an organization which works with at-risk teens.  There are generally 10 adolescent boys in residence  in need of tutoring in basic math skills.  Tutors should be at least 18 years of age, be proficient in high school math and reading, and have a high school diploma or a GED.  Volunteers are asked to make a three-month commitment, one to two hours per week.  You will be interviewed and screened, and will receive a basic orientation and ongoing guidance and support. Contact Teri at 913-831-2820, ext 231 or at

If you have a heart for girls and helping them grow into women of strength and character, consider becoming a Young Women on the Move (YWOM) volunteer for the 2012-13 school year. Staff would love to talk with you to see how YWOM can help you fulfill your desires to make a difference.  Positions are available for weekly small group facilitator/life coaches. Orientation and training will begin soon, so please contact us at your earliest convenience for more details. You may contact Wendy Hawkins, Mentor Coordinator, at (816) 729-6122 or for more information.

Lead to Read is gearing up for the fall and wants to recruit volunteers to read one-on-one with four graders at Whittier Elementary. If enough volunteers are recruited, other schools can become part of this program. Training and orientation will take place in late August or early September. Readers spend 30 minutes with each student. If you are interested, please contact Jean at 785-532-9879 or at

These opportunities are only three of many that engage volunteers in helping students succeed in school.

For more information on how you make a difference in the life of an area student, please contact me at or at 913-371-3674, ext 1308.