Volunteer opportunities: Help kids head back to school

Agency: United Way of Douglas County

Contact: Shelly Hornbaker at volunteer@unitedwaydgco.org or at 785-865-5030, ext. 301

The kids will soon head back to school. The United Way and education partner agencies have many opportunities to help ensure that they have the support they need to thrive in school and in life. Under our education goal, we’re pulling together people and organizations to ensure children entering kindergarten are ready to succeed and that fourth- and fifth-grade students are proficient in math and reading, but we can’t do it alone. Join us in helping our kids reach their full potential by volunteering with us or one of our many community partners.

Leaders needed

Join the effort of Girl Scouts as they attempt to build girls’ courage, confidence and character. Through activities in science and technology, business and economic literacy, and outdoor and environmental awareness, girl scouting provides girls with opportunities for fun and friendship while fostering leadership skills and self-esteem.

The Girl Scouts of Northeast Kansas and Northwest Missouri are looking for Daisy troop leaders for kindergarten and first-graders at Prairie Park Elementary School. Troop leaders generally volunteer for a few hours each week running their troop meeting or activity, and a few additional hours in planning and preparation. Training is provided by the Girl Scout council, and additional support, networking and mini-trainings are conducted as part of a monthly leaders’ meeting. To find out more, contact Lori Hanson at 785-842-5427 or lorihanson@gsksmo.org.

Mentors needed

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Douglas County provides one-to-one relationships for children facing adversity. You can become a Big in Schools with the commitment of one lunch per week. This school year, Bigs in Schools programs at Prairie Park, Kennedy, Schwegler and New York elementary schools need you. Bigs are matched with and meet during the school lunch hour.

If you are interested and are 18 years of age or older, please contact Mark Gordy at 785-843-7359.

Academic enrichment volunteers needed

The Boys and Girls Club is looking for volunteers to work with elementary students on educational activities during Power Hour at several of the Lawrence elementary schools.

The ideal academic enrichment volunteer will enjoy spending time with small groups of students. The focus of your time together will be to build lasting mentor relationships with the students and to encourage academic excellence. You will be able to help with their daily homework and play educational games. Please contact volunteer@bgclk.org for more information.

Book Lovers needed

Do you love books and fostering the love of reading with children? The United Way is looking for a volunteer to support our Brainfood program.

This program provides a book to students receiving Harvesters BackSnacks each Friday afternoon at all the Lawrence elementary schools.

The volunteer will, upon request, select and box books to be delivered to an elementary school. The request for books will include the number of books needed and to which grade and school the books should be delivered.

Volunteers need to have a flexible schedule with availability during the weekday, be comfortable matching books to reading levels and be able to carry boxes of books and a dolly for delivery. Training will be provided. For more information, please contact Shelly Hornbaker at volunteer@unitedwaydgco.org or at 785-865-5030, ext. 301.

— For more volunteer opportunities, please contact Shelly Hornbaker at the United Way Roger Hill Volunteer Center at 843-6626, ext. 301; at volunteer@unitedwaydgco.org; or go to volunteerdouglascounty.org.