On Wednesday morning, we welcomed more than 200 of our volunteers to an appreciation breakfast to thank them for participating in our programs supporting students in the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools: the Corporate Volunteers program and Senior Academy.
Corporate Volunteers read to students in Kindergarten-2nd grade and help them with activities that increase reading comprehension. Last year, 73 percent of Kindergarteners in the program achieved reading proficiency.
Senior Academy mentors are paired with an 11th or 12th-grade student to provide support and guidance to students who may be struggling to graduate. Last year, 99 percent of the students in the program graduated.
The event also celebrates a unique community partnership between WSFCS and the Winston-Salem Chamber- we’re one of the only communities in the nation which has a formal partnership linking the public school system with the local Chamber.
The event was sponsored by Kaplan Early Learning Company, which also sponsors the Corporate Volunteers program. The opening remarks were delivered by Judy Cartwright-Stephenson of Kaplan, who reminded the group that investing in education always provides the biggest returns. Calling all volunteers “the difference makers”, she thanked the volunteers for their service.
The event also featured moving performances by two student groups: the Knocks on Wood Drummers of Kimberley Park Elementary School and a poetry slam by students at Carver High School.
We extend our heartfelt gratitude to the more than 500 volunteers who take part in the Corporate Volunteers Program and Senior Academy. Please check out the additional content below to learn more about these programs, and share on social media to encourage everyone to get involved in our local schools!
Corporate Volunteers & Senior Academy Video
The Difference Makers
By Kim Underwood, Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools
On Thursday afternoons, John Love heads over to Forest Park Elementary School to work as a volunteer with kindergarten and first-grade students.
He does it because he believes that children need education to grow, and he believes children need to know people care about them.
“Children – that’s our future,” Love said.
Love learned about the volunteer program through his church – Morning Star Missionary Baptist – and others from the church also volunteer at Forest Park through the Corporate Volunteers Program sponsored by the Greater Winston-Salem Chamber of Commerce.
This school year, more than 300 people in the community have been participating in that program, and another 130 serve as mentors for high school students in the Chamber’s Senior Academy program.