Call for volunteers
By Stephanie Johns
Several local groups sent out a call for volunteers during the Morgan County Family Connection Collaborative Meeting held recently.
Requests came from an afterschool program, the Boys & Girls Club tutorial program, Mentoring One Morgan, Grandparents/Relatives Raising Relative Children program, an "Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader?" event, the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program, a parent conference, and a teen maze.
Sylvia Milling, System of Care family advocate, shared that the Afterschool Program needs volunteers. Brenda McRae shared that volunteers also are needed to offer their support in local classrooms.
Karen Freeman, education coordinator of Madison-Morgan Boys & Girls Club, said that they need volunteers to participate in their Power Hour tutorial sessions held from 4-5 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays. Based on recent progress reports students need the most help with math, reading, social studies, typing skills and essay writing.
The Grandparents/Relatives Raising Relative Children Program, a group for those age 55 and older who are raising children, meets at 5 p.m. the second Monday monthly in the Morgan County Senior Center. They would like volunteers to speak to them during the meetings and share information that would be helpful to grandparents and relatives who are raising children.
Stacy Dearing of Morgan County Elementary School said that Partners in Education is recruiting fifth graders and will be sending out invitations to “community faces” asking them to participate in its event titled "Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader?" to be held Nov. 13 in the Wesley Building of the Methodist Church. The time of the event has yet to be set.
Jacqueline Bosby spoke about the VITA program and explained that volunteers are trained to do taxes for individuals with incomes below $50,000. Volunteers will have to train and pass certification tests prior to helping clients with their taxes.
McRae also said that a parent conference will be held in Athens this coming March; volunteers will be needed to transport participants from Morgan to Clarke counties for the event.
Velde Hardy, Morgan County Family Connection coordinator, shared that Region 5, which includes Barrow, Clarke, Elbert, Greene, Jackson, Jasper, Madison, Morgan, Newton, Oconee, Oglethorpe and Walton counties as well as all of Atlanta, is purchasing parts of a teen maze kit.
The kit will be stored in Greene County and takes a year or longer to plan. Volunteers will be needed to help with the event. No date has been set; Janet Woodard, 4-H agent, added that they are gauging local interest.
Woodard said that the maze will take the whole community, “It’s a huge undertaking.”
In other news, participants discussed the budget and who can serve as the fiscal agent for the System of Care grant. Hardy said that the city did not want to keep the funding long-term.
Dr. Wayne Myers clarified that the System of Care program would continue but that they were looking for a place to put the money as of Jan. 1.
Hardy did not have a specific dollar amount to share but said that the System of Care money includes funds left over since the Community Awareness Coordinator position was vacated in May as well as money raised since that time.
Joy Murray of Morgan County Headstart/Early Headstart said that they have openings in their 0 to 12-months-old class for infants. She noted that they must increase their enrollment in order to keep their funding.
Woodard introduced Shannon Cagle, the new 4-H program assistant. A mother and foster mother, Cagle’s children have been involved in 4-H.
Angie Sims with the Department of Juvenile Justice said that the substance abuse groups have been bigger than ever.
Printed in the October 4, 2012 edition.