Stephens Co. Mentors Recognized at Luncheon

Family Connections and Communities in Schools of Stephens County is taking time to recognize those who mentor area children.

The group held its 5th annual Mentor Appreciation Luncheon last week at the Toccoa First United Methodist Church.

Mentor Program Coordinator Glenda Bullard said the luncheon provides an opportunity to thank those who take time to mentor children in the Stephens County School System.

“It is because of those volunteers that give one hour one day a week of their time to some at-risk kids in our school system that mean so much,” said Bullard. “They give of their time to plant seeds with those children and they make a difference in those children’s lives.”

Currently, the program has about 90 mentors working with well over 100 kids in grades K through 12 in Stephens County.

Family Connections and Communities in Schools of Stephens County Director Toni Childress said the program makes a difference in those students’ lives.

“Last year, we had 95 percent of kids we worked with that graduated or were promoted,” said Childress. “We had 92 percent of our students that had a ‘C’ or above and 65 (percent) of those had a ‘B’ or above. We had 71 percent that had 15 days or less of absences. We know our program works. The data says it is, but we also hear the stories and the stories tell us lives are being changed and these mentors are making a difference.”

Childress and Bullard both said more mentors are needed as each school in the county has a waiting list for the program.

Bullard said becoming a volunteer mentor only takes one hour of one day each week.

For more information on the mentor program in Stephens County, call Childress at 706-886-2880, extension 2003.