Thursday, December 20, 2012

Volunteers Support Students in Our Schools

The Volunteers and Partners Office has had a busy year.  They placed 798 volunteers this fall, made up of UNC students, community members and retirees, as well as some CHCCS parents and employees.  These volunteers serve throughout all 19 CHCCS schools as PreK-12 grade helpers, School Reading Partners, ESL Helpers, Writing Coaches, AVID Tutors and BRMA Tutors.

In this semester's Volunteer Spotlight, Jean Goeppinger was named the Volunteer Extraordinaire!  She is a School Reading Partners (SRP) volunteer at McDougle Elementary.  Goeppinger is also an ESL Helper and a Blue Ribbon Mentor Advocate (BRMA) mentor for a student at Smith MS.

"Jean's relationship with the class and her students is one of the many things that makes her effective," said Linda Poythress, a second grade teacher at McDougle Elementary.  "The students respond to her caring attitude."

Julie Dermody, an ESL teacher at McDougle Elementary said, "We were thrilled when Jean said she'd come back to volunteer in our second grade co-teaching classroom!  She has become a valuable part of our classroom and builds relationships with our students as she patiently supports them."

"Jean also shares her travels with our students," added Dermody.  "Through her postcards and emails, she introduces other parts of our country and the world to our entire class.  We're fortunate to have her volunteer her time working with us."

SRP and ESL Book Giveaway
The Volunteer Office is continuously looking for ways to get books into the hands of children.  At the end of each semester, SRP and ESL volunteers give books to the students with whom they work.  The books are provided by CHCCS and are purchased through a special Literacy Partner grant with Scholastic.  Volunteers love having a semester-end parting gift for students and, of course, the children are happy to receive a book of their own.

Many Volunteer Opportunities Are Available
ESL, SRP, BRMA and CoachWrite volunteers all receive training before working with students.

As an ESL volunteer, English-speaking volunteers work one-on-one or in small groups with K-12 ESL students.  Volunteers work to engage students in simple interactions.  One, four-hour training session is required.

A SRP volunteer is paired with beginning readers in CHCCS schools.  SRPs support reading instruction by giving children opportunities to explore books and language.  A three and a half hour training session is required.

CoachWrite volunteers work one-on-one with students to improve their writing skills.  A one, three-hour training is required.

BRMA volunteers are paired with a student to help foster the full development of a child's academic, physical, emotional and social potential.  Volunteers make a two-year, two-hour per week commitment to their mentee.  Training is required.

Anyone interested in being a volunteer for CHCCS, should contact the Volunteer Office at 919-967-8211, ext. 28281 or email them at  Please visit the Volunteer website for more information.

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