RAISE YOUR HAND and Help Children Succeed by Donating Your Time and Talents

The past two years have emphasized the need for social interaction and community support, especially for the youth in our city. In addition to transitioning to and then away from online school, our youth have had to work through separation from friends and family, health anxieties, caring for younger siblings, and more. And while our youth continue to grow in resiliency and creativity, many students in our community still need extra support both academically and socially. Nationally, one in three people are growing up without this extra support outside of their family (https://www.mentoring.org/mentoring-impact). One solution for both of these issues are community based tutoring and mentoring programs.

Just one hour a week will make a difference. “It was incredibly gratifying to watch a child learn to read, to know that I helped a child master a skill that would serve him his entire life. Tutoring with the Alexandria Tutoring Consortium has been one of the single most meaningful experiences of my adult life,” a Cora Kelly tutor said.

Click HERE to view opportunities.

Here are some more benefits of mentoring and tutoring for the child (and the adult):

  • Tutors work with students at all grade levels to strengthen reading, math, or other academic skills; help with homework; and share knowledge and expertise. Most programs provide training and resources to support tutors. Programs request that tutors commit to a regular schedule and are available for one school year.

  • Mentors provide the positive experiences, supports, opportunities, and relationships young people need to grow up healthy, caring and responsible. Most mentoring programs ask that mentors commit to one or more years with a mentee and meet with the mentee on a consistent basis. 

  • Teaching children to read has multiple benefits and is the key to your child's academic future, according to Teach Reading Early, because reading is at the heart of all formal education. Some of the many advantages of developing early reading ability are neurological, educational, psychological, social and linguistic.

  • In addition to helping youth maintain a better attitude toward school, we know that mentoring has a positive impact on school attendance and continuing on towards higher education (The Role of Risk, 2013). Students who meet regularly with their mentors are 52% less likely than their peers to skip a day of school and 37% less likely to skip a class. (Public/Private Ventures Study of Big Brothers Big Sisters).

  • Youth with a mentor are 46% less likely than their peers to start using illegal drugs and 27% less likely to start drinking (Public/Private Ventures study of Big Brothers Big Sisters). Consistently across different risk groups, mentoring showed a reduction in depressive symptoms and promotes positive social attitudes and relationships. Mentored youth tend to trust their parents more and communicate better with them (The Role of Risk, 2013).

  • A mentor’s impact doesn’t stop at their particular mentee. By engaging with youth in their community, mentors also spread community engagement further, as youth with a mentor are 78% more likely to volunteer regularly and are 90% more likely to be a mentor in the future (Mentor).

The Alexandria Mentoring Partnership is a collaboration of mentoring program leaders working to recruit volunteer adult mentors and ensure best practices in mentoring. Click HERE to learn about a variety of programs and complete an interest form. Mentor One Child. Change Two Lives!

As the saying goes, “It takes a village to raise a child.” Right now, our children need you to be part of their village. And, you may find that your village is richer for helping a child.

Thank you Helen Morris, Board Chair, Alexandria Seaport Foundation and Rachel Schilling, Write to Read for your support writing this piece.