Thermal Belt Ministerial Association afterschool initiative

Published 1:32 pm Sunday, March 10, 2013

The Thermal Belt Ministerial Association recently announced their “Afterschool Initiative” to assist Polk County Schools in its grant based program during after school hours 3 – 6 p.m. The program intends to provide academic help in addition to enriching the lives of children in our schools.

Serving about 600 students throughtout Polk County, the program includes a snack, one hour of homework assistance, tutoring and/or activities to help boost academic performance. Following academic time, students will enjoy one and a half hours of activities including sports, hobbies, art, drama and cooking to name only a few items.

The program not only helps with academic skills, but offers children and youth a safe alternative to being home alone. This program desperately needs caring individuals willing to share life experiences and skills with students. The afterschool program needs people who can help tutor basic and intermediate math as well as spend time reading with students. Many volunteers are needed.

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Because of the ecomomic slump, grant-based programs have been effected. In an effort to curb the cost of programs like this, the Thermal Belt Ministerial Association is encouraging congregations to volunteer. They have reviewed these programs and feel called to serve our schools in this manner. To help support this program the pastors from the following list of churches will asked their church members to give of their time and talent. Holy Cross Episcopal Church, the Congregational Church, Tryon Presbyterian Church, the Seventh Day Adventist Church, First Baptist Church, Pacolet St., Tryon United Methodist Church, Grace Community Church, Columbus and Saluda United Methodist Churches and Landrum United Methodist Church.

If you wish to share arts and crafts ideas/skills, cooking, building projects, hobbies, the Afterschool Initiative is in need of your help. All volunteers will need to complete a background check to keep our children and youth safe, as well as a volunteer orientation program. If you wish to tutor, the hours needed are from 3-4 p.m. Monday – Thursday, or share a skill, 4:30-5:30 p.m. Monday – Thursday. If you can give only one hour once a week, no problem, you are needed. If you have three hours a day, you are needed.

For more information concerning this program, contact Emily Bartlett or email or contact your pastor.

– article submitted by Mary Potter