GALION — After a year’s hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, adult mentors are once again needed to provide support and guidance to children in Galion City Schools.
“Mentoring is such a big need everywhere,” said Erin Miller, program coordinator for the Retired Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) of Crawford, Marion and Morrow Counties. “It just makes such a positive impact on kids in so many ways — academically, personally, socially. Some of these kids don’t have many connections, even at home. It just helps to have someone that wants to come in and spend time with them. It’s a great thing for these kids.”
Miller said the agency serves adults age 55 and older, connecting them with “service opportunities in their communities that match their skills and availability. There are no educational, income, or experience requirements.” She said RSVP is currently recruiting individuals in that age group to serve as mentors for the upcoming school year.
“We take seniors who are age 55 and older who are looking to contribute or even just get out of the house and still find a purpose, move, and stay healthy that way and place them in different volunteer positions within Crawford, Marion, and Morrow counties,” Miller said. “One of the things that we had started a couple of years ago was a mentoring program in Galion City Schools. Of course, due to COVID-19 last year, it didn’t happen and we had to put it on hold for a while.”
Mentors will be assigned to students in Galion Primary School, Galion Intermediate School, and Galion Middle School, serving children from kindergarten through eighth grade with sessions conducted during school hours, she said.
“It, honestly, just depends on how the kids want to be engaged,” Miller said. “Kids might need help reading or they might need a little bit of homework help. For others, it just might be a great outlet for them to sit down play a game of Uno and things like that that they may not get to do elsewhere. The mentors are there to help relieve some of the stress from the struggles the kids may be having and help them have a little bit of fun while they’re at school.”
Miller said RSVP is partnering with Mid-Ohio Youth Mentoring based in Mansfield (formerly known as Big Brothers Big Sisters of North Central Ohio) to provide training and resources for the mentors who volunteer to work in Galion City Schools during the 2021-2022 academic year.
“We recruit the volunteers — ours are 55 and older, but anyone that wants to help we’ll get you in touch with Mid-Ohio Youth Mentoring,” Miller said. “Once the school year has started and students who need mentors have been identified, we’ll get the volunteers in the schools and get them spending time with the kids. Mainly, right now, the mentors will just spend time helping kids get back on track after the chaos that last school year was. We’re working on recruiting volunteers locally now and hoping for a good response.”
Miller said mentors will be paired with students beginning in October. Background checks are required for adults who volunteer to be mentors. A one-hour training session is conducted for each mentor.
For information about becoming a mentor for students in Galion City Schools, contact Erin Miller at RSVP of Crawford, Marion and Morrow Counties at 567-393-6446 or email her at Emiller1@fcsserves.org.
For information about RSVP, go to the website rsvp.fcsserves.org or visit RSVP of Crawford, Marion and Morrow Counties on Facebook. The office is located at 138 Harding Way West in Galion. The office is open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.
For information about Mid-Ohio Youth Mentoring, go to its website www.midohioyouthmentoring.com.
Follow @GalionInquirer on Twitter. Like The Galion Inquirer on Facebook.