Volunteers with the 2017-18 mentor program at Manning Early Childhood Center include, from left to right, Arthur Moyd, Melissa DeVane, Angel Reed, Glen Blanding, Bonnie Luther, Jack Gibson, Ruth Hausfeld John Montgomery, School Counselor Briana Whitaker, Parenting Center Director Ellen Hamilton and Willie Mae Montgomery.
The 2017-2018 mentor program at Manning Early Childhood Center has begun and is roaring right along. Volunteers from all around Clarendon County have begun to pour in, offering their time and compassion to students in need of a little more tender loving care during the school day.
“We realize that a strong village is necessary in order to effectively educate our students,” said MECC Principal Otis Reed. “Thankfully, our village consists of educators and a concerned community, creating a partnership to maintain a positive learning environment promoting support for our students’ academic, social and emotional well being.”
Volunteer mentors have three different options available to them at MECC, including being a classroom mentor, an individual student mentor, or a lunch bunch mentor.
A classroom mentor helps with small groups or the entire class in various capacities. An individual student mentor works one-on-one with a student in or out of the classroom to provide academic assistance, support and encouragement.
A lunch bunch mentor reads to or with an individual student during the lunch period. All volunteers are asked to commit to at least one day per week for 30 minutes to ensure consistency with their mentees.
“Manning Early Childhood Center is very fortunate to have a community filled with people who are able to volunteer their time to work with students and to share their interests and skills with the them,” said Reed.
For community volunteers like Marie Land, there are benefits for both the students and the volunteers in the experience.
“I enjoy working with the children, getting to know them and providing some enrichment programs,” said Land. “Since I help in their reading groups, it is amazing to observe how much they learn and how well they read by the end of the year. I have gained much and I have been so enriched by working with the students. Best of all, it is a lot of fun.”
Reed, who ran a successful mentoring program at Manning Primary School during his tenure there, has very high hopes for the program at MECC, too.
“I envision our mentoring program as a pathway for our students to gain access to positive role models with whom positive relationships can foster a student-centered and goal oriented environment which will aid in the success of the entire Manning Early Childhood Center community,” said Reed.
Reed, along with the faculty and staff of Manning Early Childhood Center, is grateful to everyone who volunteers their time and other resources to help make every child count.
For more information or to become a volunteer mentor at MECC, call school counselor Briana at (803) 473-4744.
- Breana Whitaker