Invest yourself today for tomorrow

Published 9:17 am Friday, October 24, 2014

Schools have been in session for eight weeks and are busy educating tomorrow’s bankers, chemists, engineers and firefighters… . You get the idea. What’s helping the teachers guide the students to such ambitions are the non-professional volunteers willing to dedicate their time and energy to the cause.

For a long time they’ve been an integral part of academic and personal success. They might serve as teacher’s aides in a classroom or sit one-on-one as tutors in math, reading or other subjects.

In addition to lending their expertise, the volunteers make an impression just by their regular presence and willingness to help the children. That’s been reported to form relationships with caring adults, which can create personal bonds and strengthen a student’s confidence.

“It’s self-esteem we’re building. You can’t measure that by test scores.” That’s program director Betty Mann referring to the Lifesavers for Reading program in Southampton County Public Schools. But it’s also an observation that is applicable to similar programs in Franklin or any other school division.

To ensure that Western Tidewater schools have properly trained students for their future is going to take more than money. It’s also going to take an investment of our skills and genuine concern.