​​​​​​SOUTH CAROLINA ORGANIZATION OF RURAL SCHOOLS

 

We Welcome our Community


How would you like to have really good Community Relations agents out in your community? How about good Community Relations that is FREE?

For 3 years, my husband, Arnold, and I have been mentoring students at the Ridgeland-Hardeeville High School in Jasper County. We are professional educators serving as volunteers. We love the students and appreciate the way the staff has welcomed us and entrusted us with their students.  We tell everyone we know about the wonderful things going on at the high school. We live within easy driving distance of the school and we are happy to provide information to the community for the Jasper County schools.

Every school district needs to welcome volunteer mentors who will be good for the students and staff and are willing to spread good news about the schools out in the community.

Benefits of well-trained volunteer mentors to your district might include: 

  • Good mentors mean extra hands, hearts and skills to augment your staff.
  • Teachers often need to spend their time with groups of students or even the whole class. Mentors can help students who need individual attention. The mentor is helping one child, while groups of children are benefiting from more time with the teacher.
  • Schools often rely on grant money to run special programs. Foundations and governments who offer grant money often require that the grantee (the school) show “in kind” contributions. Think volunteers.
  • Some people hear news about young men and women that make them believe all young people are disrespectful or even criminal. Mentors can tell the community about the good things your students are doing.
  • The more community members know about the value and needs of your schools the more they will support your schools.
  • Good mentors from your community might establish a scholarship for your students or contribute much needed supplies.
  • Good mentors might become good substitute teachers or even apply for a permanent teaching or aide position.
  • Mentors see and come to understand the work of the school where they are volunteering. These mentors may become the best ambassadors out in the community and might even be able to recruit other mentors.
  • Good mentors might become good board members.
  • Well-trained mentors make for more successful students. Successful students may become positive members of their communities.


CAUTION: while it is wonderful to consider benefits of encouraging community members to volunteer in your schools, if you don’t provide quality training, you are asking for trouble!

  • The least of your problems with mentors who have received no training is that they will become frustrated and stop volunteering.
  • The worst-case scenario includes making things worse for a child seeking help, innocently giving a child with food allergies something that causes serious problems, mentors not knowing where to go for answers to questions and so spreading falsehoods out in the community, or revealing a confidence to the wrong people.


So how do you recruit and train good volunteers or mentors?

You may find a complete plan for your school district or organization in a manual written by Carol Hillman It includes surveys to help you assess volunteers’ interests and skills, confidentiality waivers all mentors must sign, directions to help mentors get security clearances, and much more.

Order one manual ($7.00) and when you are ready to do the training, order more manuals at a reduced price. Portion of the price will be donated to SCORS.

Contact Carol@scorsweb.org to place an order.