Friday, January 11, 2002

Program seeks mentors


Retired teacher assists children in Mount Healthy

By Allen Howard
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        You can be a hero every day while helping at least one student succeed, according to Linda Urso, a retired teacher.

        Mrs. Urso couldn't stand by idly while children needed help after she retired from teaching in the Mount Healthy City School District for 27 years.

        She became a mentor at Oyler Elementary School in Lower Price Hill.

        “I have found a great opportunity to make a difference in the life of an elementary student every week,” she said.

        Now, Mrs. Urso is seeking volunteers to serve as mentors in the Mount Healthy City School District HOSTS (Helping One Student To Succeed) Mentoring Program, started in April 2000. Mrs. Urso helps run the program.

        The program has 400 mentors now, helping 150 students. She said they are trying to get 800 mentors to help 200 students.

        She said the mentoring program pairs an older student or an adult with a student, grades 1-4, to help them with their reading and writing.

        Any older student or adult can volunteer.

        “No educational background is needed, just a caring, faithful person can do this,” she said.

        Mrs. Urso said everything the mentor needs is in a student folder, including a lesson plan, writing paper and the book the student is reading. The lesson plan is reading with the student for 15 minutes and doing a discussion for 15 minutes.

        She said they only need mentors to give 30 minutes a week. They will work around vacations or extended winter breaks. They will accept mentors who may only give 30 minutes every other week, too.

        “We will work around your schedule because any time you give is the best gift,” she said.

        The HOSTS mentoring sites are: Frost Elementary, 2065 Mistyhill Drive, New Burlington; Greener Elementary, 2400 Adams Road, Mount Healthy; Hoop Elementary, 1738 Compton Road, Mount Healthy; and Rex Ralph Elementary, 1310 Adams Road, Mount Healthy.

        Frost, Greener and Rex Ralph have mentors from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Thursday; Hoop from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Thursday.

        To sign up, volunteers may call Frost at 484-9710; Greener, 484-9711; Hoop, 484-9712 and Rex Ralph, 484-9713.

       



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