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Baker Intermediate looks to expand student mentoring program

Administrators at Baker Intermediate School are looking for volunteers to take part in the school’s mentoring program.

Volunteers make a commitment of 30 minutes a week to come to the school, read to students to promote literacy and assist with homework and school projects.

Assistant Principal Susan Jacobs said volunteers can visit the school any time between 10:45 a.m. and 1:40 p.m. Volunteers must commit to at least 30 minutes per week with students, but they can be more active if they wish.

Mentors work with students in groups of three or four at a time, she said.

While the primary focus of mentoring is to promote literacy, Jacobs said each mentor can work with students on other subjects as well.

“We had one volunteer who had collections of coins and stamps that he would bring in for the kiddos to see,” Jacobs said. “They absolutely adored him.”

Baker currently has about 10 volunteers, but Jacobs said she is looking to double that number this year.

“The more people we have volunteering, the more children are served,” she said. “The kiddos really like it, a lot of them actually run to the door when they hear it’s their mentoring time.”

The school is also asking for book donations for readers of various levels.

“New or gently used books would be great, and people can drop them off at the school,” Jacobs said.

The school’s community volunteers are one of three ways the school pairs student with mentors. In addition to the program, Baker works with Winchester Federal Bank, its partner in education to provide mentors.

Another opportunity allows Baker students to travel to the Rowland Arts Center downtown after school to take part in the Meals and Mentors program there. Meals and Mentors assists about 35 Baker students with homework while also providing a meal for them.

To volunteer as a mentor at Baker or for more information, contact Susan Jacobs at susan.jacobs@clark.