Northern Panhandle After-School Program Seeks Volunteers
After-school programs in Marshall and Brooke counties are looking for volunteers to work with children ages 5-13 at several sites once school starts in August.
Volunteers are needed to help with homework and engage the students in enrichment activities between 3 p.m. and 6 p.m., said April Gould, a VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America) with the AmeriCorps program who works with the Retired Senior Volunteer Program in Marshall County. She is helping Marshall County RSVP coordinator Pauline Boring run the After School Adventures Program at the Benwood-McMechen Housing Authority. Other sites are located in Follansbee and Wellsburg.
Gould said volunteers “encourage homework completion, and help to engage the students in various enrichment activities.” Because RSVP operates the free program, it is seeking volunteers who are 55 and older. But high school students and other community members are welcome to help as well, Gould said.
Volunteers can work during the whole after-school session or just for part of it, and they can create a schedule that works for them. Some “come in once or twice a year to do specific activities with the kids – like a reading program, a safety class or a nutrition class,” Gould said.
“We’ll take as many volunteers as we can get,” she added. “Since our volunteers tend to come in just once or twice a week – or once or twice a month – we’ve never run into the problem of having too many volunteers. The only thing is that we need to have at least two adults with the kids at all times, so it’s nice to have at least three or four volunteers handy so that we have some flexibility.”
Gould has an education background and, as a VISTA, her goal is to help train and maintain a volunteer base to sustain the after-school program after her temporary assignment.
All volunteers must undergo a background check that includes fingerprinting and a sex offender registry search.
For information about volunteering, call Boring or Gould at 304-905-0673 or the Brooke-Hancock RSVP office at 304-527-3410.