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United Way seeks volunteers to mentor local students

According to Department of Education statistics, every year one in four students fails to graduate from high school on time and 43 percent of Florida students can’t read or do math at a minimally proficient level by the end of third grade. In addition, research suggests that at least a third of all students experience extreme “math anxiety” due to the high hurdles  – speed, pressure, timed testing and blind memorization, among other challenges – in modern math classes, a United Way news release states.

United Way of the Big Bend is seeking to change these statistics by offering mentors to local youth, but it can’t accomplish its goals without the help of volunteers from Gadsden County communities, a news release states. The area nonprofit’s mentor program focuses on improving reading and math abilities of Big Bend students from kindergarten to third grade. 

United Way of the Big Bend relies on hundreds of mentors every year to work one-on-one with students who need additional assistance in reading and math. Studies show that children with mentors are more confident and have fewer behavioral problems; early intervention and individualized attention gives students the best likelihood of success, according to the United Way. 

A United Way mentor can be anyone who has a love for reading or math and a desire to help students achieve their full potentials. United Way officials urge local residents to “be the difference in a child’s future” by becoming a mentor. For more information about becoming a mentor, contact Rebecca Weaver at or (850) 487-8091.