GSDP seeking Project CLASS volunteers

The exterior of the Greater Starkville Development Partnership (Photo by Ryan Phillips, SDN)
Staff Writer

The Greater Starkville Development Partnership is accepting applications for participants in the 2017-2018 Project Community Leaders Assisting with School Success (CLASS).

Project CLASS is a community support program developed by the GSDP to encourage direct support of local educators by local groups. Volunteers devote one hour of each week to sitting with a child and helping build skills in reading and arithmetic through study materials provided by the teacher.

The volunteer cost for Project CLASS is $36 and no prior experience is required.

GSDP Director of Membership Development Hunter Harrington experienced Project CLASS first-hand when she volunteered a few years ago.

"I could tell the progress of my student throughout the entire process," Harrington said. "It was neat to look back and see what an impact you can make on a third grade child's life."

Harrington said anyone can volunteer for the program, from churches to businesses, retirees and students. Through the program, the children can connect with their volunteer. The hour each week of one-on-one time helps strengthen the child's skills in the subjects as well as boosts their confidence.

"The overall goal is to make that child feel impacted and confident and like they're making progress in their reading and arithmetic skills," Harrington said. "Research and studies show the more they feel confidence in that it will spill over into other subjects and altogether their whole life."

Harrington can be contacted at the GSDP office for more information on Project CLASS.