CARE Center in critical need of tutors, mentors to help children in SE Madison County

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MADISON COUNTY, Ala. (WHNT) - The CARE Center is looking for several dozen people with a heart for children and the desire to make a difference.

The non-profit's mission is to reduce poverty in southeastern Madison County through emergency services, recovery programs, employment resources and education initiatives.

As part of its education outreach, The CARE Center provides tutors and mentors to children who could use some extra help.  However, Executive Director Angela Hawke says around 30 tutors and 30 mentors are still needed for the programs.

"It seems like we're struggling lately to get more and more people who are willing to come out," Hawke says.

Mentors work with boys and girls in grades 2-8. Participants must pass a background check. No special skills are required and a training program is offered.

Each mentor agrees to meet with his or her assigned child at least four times a month for one year. Two of the monthly visits are group gatherings lasting about an hour. The other two are one-on-one visits.

"If they have just a friend to sit with them and to listen to what it is they have on their heart that day... it's just more of an encouragement to help them get through their day," said Hawke.

Tutors work with children in grades K-3 at New Hope Elementary or Owens Cross Roads Elementary. No training is required. The sessions take place once a week at the schools and last 30 minutes. Those with an hour to spare, have the option of tutoring two children, back to back.

The focus is on improving reading and math skills.

"Are they working on their numbers, their address, the alphabet? If it's an older child, they may be doing flash cards where they're trying to work on certain words," Hawke says.

To learn more or to volunteer, you can call the CARE Center at (256) 723-CARE.  A full list of volunteer opportunities may be found here.