World Changers Needed: Be a Mentor

   Campus Announcements | Posted on September 20, 2018

The Human Empowerment Life Project (H.E.L.P.), an Andrews University volunteer organization, seeks to support the Benton Harbor Area Schools (BHAS) in its efforts to:

  • Develop reading comprehension & math appreciation
  • Improve school culture and climate
  • Increase test results of all students in Grades 1–5

H.E.L.P. is one initiative through which Andrews University partners with BHAS students, teachers and administration to provide resources to improve the learning experiences and outcomes for the 1st through 5th-grade students. To achieve this goal, volunteers from Andrews provide two weekly enrichment sessions to reinforce positive values, expand literacy or math skills, improve metacognition, and develop a sense of belonging.

Students, faculty, staff and community friends, with varied ethnic and cultural backgrounds, pursuing a variety of programs but sharing the common desire to improve the learning outcomes of the students of Benton Harbor schools, come together to assist the students by joining a team which is assigned to one classroom. Teams are scheduled to work alternating weeks during the semester. The system is designed for teams to work with the same elementary students each session.  Transportation is provided.

The program will launch again on September 19 (mathematics) at 1:30 p.m. in Price Hall, Room 219, and September 21 (literacy) at 12:30 p.m. in Garber Auditorium, Chan Shun Hall. The initial session will include team building, classroom management techniques, and diversity training. Teams comprising of three individuals will be assigned classrooms and placed on a bi-monthly rotation (every other week). Each group meets prior to departing from Andrews University on University buses on the following days and times:

  • Wednesdays (1:30–3:30 p.m.)—mathematics tutoring
  • Friday (12:30–3 p.m.)—literacy

H.E.L.P. provides 8–12 opportunities per semester for Andrews’ volunteers to engage with the elementary students. Volunteers can earn up to 15 co-curricular credits for involvement in service as well as the training and can participate in either ELA, mathematics or both programs. Application forms must be completed to join this program. Criminal background clearance is conducted as part of the application process for all participants.

During the 2017–18 school year, 160 Andrews University students, faculty and staff volunteered to deliver the weekly program to almost 460 Benton Harbor students. In addition to observing the benefits derived from serving others, and the service hours, Andrews students gained the opportunity for personal and professional development.

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