A partnership program between the Allen County School District and the local faith community will soon be underway for a second year. The Points of Light Partnership was created last year in an effort to help connect volunteers from local churches with students needing extra help in reading and math and/or with a child who just needed a positive mentor.
“There is a great need in our schools, and we would love to have more volunteers to assist our students who require extra help and guidance,” explained Allen County School Superintendent Randall Jackson at the launch of the program last year. “This can make a tremendous difference in the lives of many children, and I hope that the partnership program can accomplish great results.”
Starting in the fall of 2013, the Points of Light program has seen volunteers spend time with students---primary at the Allen County Primary Center, the Allen County Intermediate Center and the James E. Bazzell Middle School.
Kim Huntsman was one of 12 partners serving in the program at the Allen County Intermediate Center last year. Her mentor role offered support for a young student.
“We would have lunch and just talk about girl things,” Huntsman said. “We talked about her family and maybe some things that were going on in her life that was hard for her. My student also took me to her classes and wanted me to read some of the things she had written. I really enjoyed my time with her.”
Partners also noted that it was always refreshing to see their students showing signs of improvement in their academics.
“I mentored a first grader,” added Brenda Brown, a partner who served at the Primary Center. “We would have lunch together. I also did some tutoring with some second graders. It was so great to see them making progress. I enjoyed it. We had a really good time.”
As plans are being finalized for the program’s resumption, Kathy Clark, Reading Coach at the Primary Center, hopes to see additional volunteers at both her school and across the district.
“I would like to have at least 40 or more because I would like to have one for every classroom at the Primary Center,” Clark said.
Primary Center principal Tim Wilson adds that a volunteers’ work will be reflected in the years to come.
“Your presence makes a world of difference,’ Wilson said. “We will it see in many ways. These kids will see that they are loved. We will see results in tangible ways. We will see results in test scores for these students.”
The Points of Light program will resume in the coming weeks. Points of Light Partners from last year will be contacted by the end of September to resume working with students.
Anyone interested in becoming a Points of Light Volunteer should contact Community Education Director Don Meador at 270-622-4119 by Monday, September 22. An orientation for new volunteers in the Points of Lights Program will be held at 9 a.m. on Wednesday, September 24 at the Allen County Board of Education.