January is Mentoring Month
January is National Mentoring Month. Have you taken time to reach out and thank or honor those individuals who encourage and guide you? If someone has had a lasting, positive impact on your life, say THANK YOU!
BISD is grateful for community members who volunteer at the various campuses. Even one hour of time can make a huge difference. Volunteers make a lasting impact and become mentors to the students. BISD has hundreds of volunteers, some who spend every day in the classroom. According to hours of service clocked in by volunteers, here are the top five in BISD.
Patricia Solomon volunteers at Charlton-Pollard Elementary and has donated 390 hours this school year. “I’m retired and love children, so volunteering at BISD was a perfect fit,” said Solomon. “I started helping in kindergarten; counting, reading, playing. Many children need help with their english.” Solomon has worked with Ms. Alice Patterson for the past 4 years and, after building a strong bond with her, follows her wherever she may go, which this year is 4th grade. What’s the difference between kindergarten and 4th grade? “The kids think they’re grown ups!”
Lou Ella Williams is a volunteer at Jones-Clark Elementary and has been for the past 5 or 6 years. Currently, she’s working with Mrs. Elaine Elie in the Pre-K department. “I’m just crazy for kids,” Williams said. “When you get to see a child that has learned and understands and appreciates the love you have for them, it’s a great feeling.” Williams rotates with a new teacher every 2 years and has volunteered 552 hours this school year.
Florine Bowers has been volunteering for BISD for the past 6 years at King Middle School. She donates 7 hours each weekday in the Life Skills Department. How did she get involved? “Volunteering saved me. My husband had passed and I needed something to do. I found out about the Foster Grandparent Program and knew it was right for me,” Bowers said. “I work with special needs children and it’s so rewarding. The first day I arrived, the children were outside to welcome me. I know God wants me here.” Bowers has volunteered 401.5 hours this school year.
Priscilla Hunt is a volunteer at Charlton-Pollard Elementary, working with 1st graders in Ms. Deborah Jones class. “She’s the best teacher in which I’ve worked for,” Hunt said. “I call her ‘my baby’. You can’t beat Ms. Jones.” Hunt, who has volunteered 426 hours this school year, started donating her time after Hurricane Rita. She said, “My house was damaged and I just couldn’t sit in a house like that; so, I decided to volunteer.” As a retired BISD teacher, Hunt loves children and calls them her “little rascals”.
Linda F. Spears is the top volunteer in terms of donated time in BISD. Spending her days at Jones-Clark Elementary, she has volunteered 556 hours. Currently, she helps in the Kindergarten department with Mrs. Linda Porter. “I have 3 children and 5 grandchildren,” Spears said. “I just love to be around the kids.” After volunteering for the past 4 years, she just enjoys every moment with the children. “I enjoy helping them with their lessons, reading, and spelling words.”
For these five remarkable ladies, as well as the many other dedicated volunteers, BISD says THANK YOU! How can you thank your mentor? Contact them directly or via social media to express your appreciation. Pass on what you received by becoming a mentor to a young person in your community. Make a financial contribution to a local mentoring program in honor of your mentor. Just taking the time to send a note with thanks can make someone’s day.
If you would like to get involved, we encourage you to sign up for VIPS - Volunteers In Public Schools. There are many opportunities available:
Field trip chaperones
Career Day speakers
Teacher Appreciation Week organizers
Academic coaches or tutors (Math, Reading, Science, and Social Studies)
New Family Coordinators
Back-to-School Picnic organizers
Book Fair workers
Family Night volunteers
Picture Day helpers
Photocopiers and laminators
Before and After-school tutors
Nurse assistants for vision and hearing screenings
Office greeters and receptionists
Other areas (Campus based)
ROAR Tutors (District Initiative)