Bradenton Kiwanis Club and five Manatee County Children’s Service’s agencies including: Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Sun Coast; Boys & Girls Clubs of Manatee County; Parenting Matters; United Way Suncoast; and Manatee YMCA have joined forces to provide volunteer tutors and staff to assist students at Rogers Garden Bullock and Daughtrey Elementary Schools all under the direction of the Manatee County School District Superintendent of Schools, Cynthia Saunders.
According to Sharon Barhorst, Chairperson of the Bradenton Kiwanis Youth Services Committee, “This initiative came together quickly when it was brought to our attention that the District had schools that were of special concern to the Florida Department of Education (FLDOE). Daughtrey and Rogers Elementary Schools are both in the third year of a district-managed improvement plan and must earn at least a C grade this year.” She continued, “We want to prevent the schools from being closed, converted to a charter school or placed under the control of an external operator – every school in Manatee County is important and if they are in need of help, we have the ability to rally the troops to do that.”
“Students can always benefit from before and after school programs to complement what they are learning during the day. Adding individual mentors into the mix is a great way to deepen the impact and build positive and meaningful relationships,” said Dawn Stanhope, President of Boys & Girls Clubs of Manatee County. “By bringing our talents together, Bradenton Kiwanis members felt that was the best way we could help our School District. We are rich with former educators and retired and working professionals that have the time and desire to work with the children. Our goal is to recruit 100 volunteers to donate an hour a week either in the morning or afternoon program. Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Sun Coast will provide training and assistance to ensure that each volunteer is matched with a child who can benefit from their expertise. Reading and math are the biggest hurdles, with English as a second language impacting many of our young people as well.”

For more information, view and/or download the program flyer.

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