Thursday, August 21, 2014

COMMENTARY: Volunteers help students succeed

By Cathi Hahner
Director of Volunteer Services, United Way of Wyandotte County

Even though the temperatures are hot, the start of school is here. There are programs in our area that help young people with learning.

These programs need the commitment of volunteers who will serve as role models, tutors and mentors. Most programs that have volunteers work with youth will require a face to face interview and background checks of perspective volunteers.

Lead to Read is seeking volunteer Readers!  Volunteers can choose a participating elementary school in which they want to read to a child once a week around the lunch hour for approximately 30 minutes.  And if you need to miss a session, substitute Readers will be available.

For more info or contact Sarah at or 816-651-0470

Learning Clubs needs tutors for afterschool programs at several different sites in KCK. 

Tutors are matched with one or two students and work together on homework and other educational activities. Volunteers are needed 1 hour each week. Locations include St. Margaret’s Public Housing, Chalet Manor and Juniper Gardens.

If interested contact Brad Grabs, 913-244-5838 or or learn more on their website at

Urban Scholastic Center is looking for mentors to tutor elementary school students at Mark Twain Elementary School and Hazel Grove Elementary School for one hour per week. If interested contact Alex Mathews at 913-281-9828 or

YouthBuild KCK is a 10 month comprehensive program providing education enrichment, construction skills and job training to at-risk young adults between the ages 16-24. All trainees split their time between the classroom, construction sites and doing community service.

Tutors and mentors are needed to help these teens and young adults as they earn their GED and work on marketable job skills. If you are interested in helping please Jennifer Baker 913-371-3770 or jbaker@YOUTHBUILDKCK.ORG

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