Goshen News, Goshen, IN

November 15, 2012

Want to make a difference? Just sign up

— The Goshen community is a special place to live. We say that not because there are majestic mountain views, or warm sunshine the year-round, or some other natural phenomenon associated with other “great places to live.” We say that because the people who make the Goshen community home, care about others who also live here.

Time and again The Goshen News has chronicled how Goshen-area residents step up to offer money, services and support when someone is in need. So, we are sure that some local residents said, “I can do that” as they read an article in Wednesday’s edition about the need for education volunteers at West Goshen Elementary School.

West Goshen’s staff has a program called ICare. That program uses volunteers from the community to assist the school’s students in learning projects for one or two hours each week. This program is a real asset to the students of the school and the community as a whole.

In every school there are always students who don’t get enough one-to-one teaching. That’s because teachers are stretched very thin these days teaching state-required curriculum. When a student has repeated challenges in learning to read or write, teachers and their aides help, as they are charged to do, but some students simply need even more time on a task than a teacher alone can assist with. That’s where the very important role of the ICare volunteers comes into play.

One or two hours per week may not seem like a lot of time to devote to an educational task, but that time can have a big impact on a student who needs guidance. A few minutes explaining division, or a few words of encouragement to a student struggling to read a sentence, or even just a smile and a pat on the back, go a long way in building a positive, re-enforcing learning environment for each and every student at West Goshen Elementary.

Over the decades the staff at West Goshen has done a great job in educating that neighborhood’s students, many who have gone on to help build our local economy or moved into successful professional careers. Now the staff of the school is asking for a little help from the community in keeping that tradition going and even improving on it. To help, all anyone has to do is stop by the school office and say “sign me up.”