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Lunchbox Learners Program Seeks Volunteers

Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Great Lakes Bay Region’s Lunchbox Learners program is seeking volunteers. The Lunchbox Learners program matches an adult mentor with a child in Midland County in need of developing his or her reading skills. The match meets once a week from November through May during the child’s lunch hour and focuses primarily on reading-related activities.

“Reading is fundamental to the success of our children, our community and our future,” says Susan Putnam, President and CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Great Lakes Bay Region. “Many take the skill of reading for granted and may not recognize the astonishing number of children in need of additional support. The difference Lunchbox Learners volunteers make in the lives of these children is priceless.”

According to 2012-2013 MEAP scores, nearly 25% of fourth graders in Midland County do not meet the proficiency expectations for Michigan fourth graders. Studies show that children who do not read proficiently by the fourth grade find it much more difficult to become proficient readers and often begin to struggle in other subjects. This can lead to bad grades, disengaging from school, and dropping out. In fact, students who cannot read proficiently by the fourth grade are four times more likely to drop out of school.

The Big Brothers Big Sisters Lunchbox Learners program targets students in kindergarten through third grade at Pine River, Adams, Chestnut Hill, Plymouth, Seibert and Carpenter elementary school. Volunteers are asked to commit to spending one hour a week with a child who has been identified as needing additional reading assistance.  40 volunteers are still needed to fill positions. The program will begin in early November and volunteers will be accepted until all spots are filled.

For more information about the Lunchbox Learners program contact Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Great Lakes Bay Region at (989) 631-5360 or mary@bbbsgreatlakesbay.org.

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