Local organizers of Statesboro Head Start are calling out to community members and students to volunteer in the upcoming Read-a-thon.
Dominic Wooden, community liaison and Statesboro Head Start volunteer, helps recruit and inform students about the program.
“We are looking for more Georgia Southern students to get involved and volunteer for the program. It’s a great experience and it’s a great way to help out the community,” Wooden said.
Student volunteers can assist in classrooms, help teachers with lesson plans and prepare children for art and music classes. The program, aimed at children age three to five, helps children to develop basic learning and reading skills.
Ammie Hodges, Statesboro Head Start center director, has been working with Statesboro Head Start for the past seven years and encourages Georgia Southern University students to get involved in the program.
“It’s been very beneficial having the students volunteer,” Hodges said. “It helps lessen the amount of stress on teachers and it’s a great way for the children here and the student volunteers to interact with people of different races. I wish we had the program when I was in school.”
Founded in 1966 to combat poverty and improve quality of life, the Statesboro Head Start program offers educational, health and financial services to low income families and children in the coastal region of Georgia.
The program has been assisting families over the past 20 years and much of the educational assistance provided comes straight from GSU students.
Statesboro Head Start is open to any student volunteers and the Statesboro community and encourages people to come out for the Read-a-thon event on March 27.
Taylor Leslie, senior child family and development major and a current volunteer with the program, enjoys working with the children and helping them develop important learning skills.
Leslie said, “Working at Statesboro Head Start has been a blessing. It’s a different experience than what I’ve ever experienced before and I am honored to have the opportunity to help Statesboro Head Start. The program is a wonderful place to volunteer and I’m extremely glad I had this opportunity.”