Volunteers needed to build academic and social emotional skills in local 5th graders. United Way announces innovative new partnership.

Do you have 20 minutes a week to build skills and a relationship with a local fifth grader? What if you could participate from anywhere and anytime each week?

United Way is partnering Bullock Creek and Meridian Public Schools to pilot an innovative new program called CricketTogether which aims to address the social, emotional, mental health and academic needs of local students. Working 100% virtually with flexibility, volunteer mentors are needed today.

Working alongside the classroom teacher, CricketTogether is a virtual eMentoring learning experience that helps students become engaged and independent learners. The program connects every student in a classroom with their own personal eMentor who delivers individualized support aligned with the classroom curriculum.

CricketTogether provides a safe and secure online environment that is 100% moderated by the classroom teacher. It also features helpful training and prompts to guide volunteers on their journey to build connection with the student.

“I’ve always wanted to volunteer but never knew what capacity I could get involved….CricketTogether makes it easy and FUN. Being an eMentor has been the most rewarding thing I’ve done,” shared a previous volunteer.

How it Works

After a volunteer signs up and completes online training they will be matched with a local 5th grader. Each week, the pair will be provided with a topic provided by the teacher and the student will select material to read.

The volunteer and student both read the material and exchange electronic letters 1:1 to talk about their lives and what they’ve learned. The teacher moderates the conversations through the online portal and integrates the communication into the academic week. The program follows the school calendar year.

“I look forward to my student’s letters, and am always excited to see his point of view. It is amazing to get to encourage students to think outside of the box…to share excitement and interest in the world. I believe it is necessary for children to strengthen their communication skills.”

Education is the cornerstone of individual and community success. It opens kids up to a world of possibilities and builds confidence, skills and a foundation for the future. Time spent with caring adults has a profound impact on how kids view themselves and the world.

“This innovative new opportunity builds friendships while also building important reading and writing skills,” shared Nancy Money, Director of Community Impact. “This unique volunteer experience allows people to make a big impact in the life of a child with 100% flexibility. This is vital as we continue to revision how we connect and build relationships in a Covid-19 environment.”

To learn more or to sign up to volunteer, visit https://www.volunteerglbr.org/opportunity/a0C5w000010PsqcEAC