PICKENS COUNTY — The School District of Pickens County and the Pickens County YMCA are calling for volunteers to mentor children at Easley schools.
“This is a tremendous opportunity for our community to have a significant impact in our schools,” said Sid Collins, CEO of the Pickens County YMCA. “The teachers and principals work tirelessly to educate and guide today’s youth. This program allows for parents, churches, businesses and leaders in our community to give back in a way that is significant. All it takes is time, the one thing our children desperately need from us.”
The YMCA is seeking mentors willing to commit 30 minutes a week for a full school year. Mentors will be recruited, approved, and trained by the YMCA, while schools will select students for the program with parent permission. The YMCA and the school district will then work together to pair mentors with students.
“We want the mentorship program to help kids who are at-risk of not reaching their potential,” said Dr. Bill Roach, SDPC’s Assistant Superintendent of Administration. “One of the things that we’ve determined will help these students is mentorship. Research shows that if a student can connect with at least one adult in the building they do better academically. We are excited to partner with the YMCA in this mentoring program to help these students reach their full potential.”
The YMCA will fully fund the program through contributions from the community, and will be holding mentor orientations and trainings throughout the year. The program will be limited to Easley area schools for the 2015-2016 school year, with the goal of expanding it district-wide in years to come.
“This program is modeled after the Mentor Upstate program which has a track record of success in other districts,” Collins said. “We believe life change happens through relationships where someone gives positive advice to another, and we’ve seen life change happen as a result of mentorship programs before.”
Contact Cindy Perry, mentor director for the YMCA, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 864-307-0213 for more information on becoming a mentor.