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Area Volunteers Honored For Work Through RSVP of North Central Iowa

This news story was published on January 21, 2013.
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MASON CITY – Middle school and junior high school students in North Central Iowa are getting extra help with their literacy skills – which means a better chance for academic and personal growth – thanks to more than 30 volunteers who have taken a special interest in helping students succeed.

As part of the Reading Coach program with RSVP of North Central Iowa, the volunteers spend some of their free time each week tutoring and mentoring youth; throughout RSVP’s four-county service area.

During the 2012-2013 school year, volunteers are working with students at North Iowa Middle School in Buffalo Center, Forest City Middle School, West Hancock Middle School in Kanawha, North Iowa Christian School in Mason City, and Ventura-Garner-Hayfield Junior High School in Ventura.

January is National Mentoring Month, a time dedicated to honoring mentors and recognizing the important need they fulfill – that of every child to have a caring adult in his or her life. RSVP is sponsored in North Central Iowa by North Iowa Area Community College.

“RSVP volunteers help these students improve their reading skills, which will help them in all of their other schoolwork both this year and throughout the rest of the academic lives,” NIACC President Deb Derr said in tribute to the volunteers. “But these volunteers also offer the students something more: strong, positive role models that students today need so desperately. The relationships that these compassionate adults form with the students will impact the students’ lives in untold ways for years to come. January is National Mentoring Month, but the difference these volunteers make in the lives of the students they work with will, most likely, last a lifetime.”‘
RSVP of North Central Iowa is part of a national network of programs called Senior Corps that recruits adults 55 and older to use their skills, talents and life experience to help meet community needs through volunteer service.

The Reading Coach program is a certified program with the Iowa Mentoring Partnership. Under the Iowa Commission on Volunteer Service, the Iowa Mentoring Partnership works to improve lives, strengthen communities, and foster civic engagement through service and volunteering by supporting quality mentoring programs.

RSVP of North Central Iowa has 36 Reading Coaches serving during the 2012-2013 school year. Reading Coaches meet with students at least once a week to work on literacy skills, and the volunteers also serve as mentors, often developing strong bonds with the students.

RSVP would like to thank the following Reading Coach volunteers for their dedication to and support of youth in North Central Iowa:

West Hancock Middle School – Britt: Shirley Baker, Myra Bowman, Jan Cooper, Pat Hartwig, Kathy Johnson, Pat Sampson, Mary Schreiber, Jean Sheets, Mary Swenson, Rev. Geoff White, Rev. Char White
North Iowa Middle School – Buffalo Center : Joe Angstman, Betty Coxson, John Laflen, Shirley Miller, Navonne Pilgrim-Bosma
Forest City Middle School – Forest City: Judy Ambroson, Judith Anderson, Dolores Blake, Mike Ebaugh, Dr. Carroll Gustafson, Joan Hansen, Dennis Knoner, Roberta Kraft-Abrahamson, Ronald Kvale, Karolyn Overlie, Inghild “Pott” Van Auken, Liz Wilson
North Iowa Christian School – Mason City: Maureen Russo
Ventura-Garner-Hayfield Junior High School – Ventura: Carrol Boehnke, Dolores Boehnke, Judy Coe, Eunice Kinsella, Twyla Quinn, Janelle Renner, Eileen Taylor

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