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Press ReleaseFriday, February 4, 2011
DOE Press Office
Literacy Week Volunteers Encouraged to Become MentorsTo continue the momentum of last week’s Celebrate Literacy Week, Florida!, volunteers throughout the Sunshine State are encouraged to expand their commitment to service by becoming a mentor. Statistics show that students are far less likely to skip school, have behavioral problems or begin using illegal drugs or alcohol when a mentor is active in their lives.
“Mentoring can, and should, be a long-term commitment to Florida’s children. We know that youth are five times more likely to graduate if they have a meaningful relationship with an adult you can make a meaningful difference,” said Liza McFadden, president of Volunteer USA Foundation. “Each of us can play a role – whether you’re a boss, a government worker or a college student – please find just an hour a week to mentor a student in Florida and show them you care.”
According to the Florida Mentoring Partnership, which is managed by Volunteer USA Foundation, more than 200,000 adult mentors are currently serving as role models to Florida’s students. Volunteers who visited schools last week to participate in literacy events can join efforts statewide to make a difference in the lives of students by mentoring.
“Positive guidance by a caring mentor can make a huge difference in the academic success of students,” said Education Commissioner Dr. Eric J. Smith. “Every volunteer has already demonstrated their commitment to education and I challenge each of them to further that commitment by becoming a mentor.”