United Way in Charlottesville Encourages Mentoring, Tutoring - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

United Way in Charlottesville Encourages Mentoring, Tutoring

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A group in Charlottesville is pushing for more role models for kids in the area. In honor of National Mentoring Month, United Way is promoting its “Be the Change” campaign.

Being a mentor can make a monumental difference in a child's life.

"Kids who have mentors are much more likely to stay in school, they get better grades, they're much more likely to stay out of trouble and graduate high school,” said Kim Connolly, director of marketing and communications United Way - Thomas Jefferson Area.

“Be the change. Become a volunteer, mentor or tutor” is the message united way wants to spread during national mentoring month.

"You're helping change the trajectory of a child's life,” Connolly said. “They have an adult that's taking time to pay attention to them.”

Caroline Emerson does her part as a Book Buddies volunteer.

"We sit together for a couple of hours a week and we read stories and talk about them, talk about our lives, practice our writing and do some fun games,” Emerson said.

Emerson helps first-graders with reading, a skill she says is crucial in a student's road to success.

“If a child can't read, well then they really have trouble with all their subjects in school so it's really important to catch them up,” Emerson said.

While mentoring can be important in a child's life, it can also change the volunteer.

"It's just so rewarding to see how the child just beams with pride now that they can read. They used to think they were stupid, and they were real behind their friends but now they're doing well and I get to have just a small part of that,” Emerson said.

National Mentoring Month ends with a mentor and tutor opportunity fair January 27 at the Omni Hotel from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

NBC29 is a proud sponsor of mentoring month.

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