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Mid-Michigan eMentoring Program Needs Volunteers

FOX 47 News

Mid-Michigan eMentoring Program Needs Volunteers

CREATED Jun. 28, 2012

With a simple email and a click of the mouse, you could play an important role as a mentor in a young girl's life.

"eMentoring is really different," said Amanda Masters, a community resources associate at Capital Area United Way. "And some people might think it's not as personal, but with the literacy focus and the literacy component that we really want to integrate with our girls, it will make the girls and mentors really focus on those writing and reading skills."

Capital Area United Way's Women's Leadership Council is calling on women in the area to volunteer as a reading eMentor. Program leaders say from college students to business executives or retirees - any woman can be a mentor.

"Any mentor will be able to provide the sixth grade girls the great relationship and encouragement in their literacy development through this program," Masters said.

The program will begin in November and wrap up in May. The mentors and students will read five books over that time, and exchange emails through a safe, secure portal.

"So when they write back and forth, they can go back to the book," said Masters. "And back to writing, and back to the book - instead of just reading a book, writing a paper on it, and moving on."

Masters says it's critical to establish a firm foundation of literacy by focusing on reading and writing.

"It affects every part of their life," said Masters. "Now and in the future. Not just the fact that they will be able to graduate, but the fact that they'll be able to have a job, and read to their children if they have children in the future."

Capital Area United Way is in the process of talking to local schools to establish the program once school starts up in the fall. The sixth grade girls who participate will meet in an after-school program to read and write letters to their mentors. For women who volunteer to mentor, organizers say one of the best parts of this program is the flexibility. Mentors can send emails on their own time, from anywhere.

For more information, call Capital Area United Way at 517-203-5000.