BDS rewards volunteers of the month for April

PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) — Bay District school officials told NewsChannel 7 the pandemic has put their volunteer and mentorship programs on hold. However, these came back and now they take advantage of the month of April to appreciate those who help them.

“So we just want to celebrate and thank them during the month of April and know that we appreciate them,” said Sharon Michalik, BDS communications director.

While BDS officials said Monday they were grateful for their current volunteers, they said they would like more to sign up.

Michalik said volunteering at a school can be as simple as helping out at lunchtime or reading a book to a class.

“There are a lot of teachers who would like people to come and read to their students, so there’s a lot of opportunity,” Michalik said.

Opportunities include enrolling in one of three mentorship programs offered by the district. Raising the Bay, is a program that needs mentors. It is aimed at at-risk elementary and middle school students.

“Elevate Bay is about 200 mentors short, so there are 200 students on a waiting list who would like to have a mentor,” Michalik said.

The Bay Education Foundation offers a mentorship program for high school students and the New Horizons Learning Center also offers a mentorship program that you can get involved in if you are interested.

Michalik said the district will provide training for those who want to be positive role models for their students.

“The more extra hands we can have to support our teachers and students in schools, the better off we all are.”

If you are interested in enrolling in one of their mentoring programs, you can find all of this information on the BDS website or call 850-767-4100

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