Mentor a child, make an eternal difference

(Rockwall) Feb. 2, 2012

Dear Editor,

In Rockwall Independent School District today, a seven year old sleeps shivering on the floor of her unheated trailer while mom works the late shift. During her school day she is agitated and has trouble focusing. She clings to her teacher for affection and support.

A little boy comes to school in ragged clothes and shoes too small for him. He struggles to keep up with his grade level in reading and wishes for one adult in his life to be his mentor and friend.

A child loses her father to suicide and looks desperately for an adult face to provide warmth, a smile, and a how is your day. Her caring teacher hurts for the child and looks for someone who can give her special, one on one attention.

Sound like Appalachia, Tennessee?

Harlem, New York?

Try Rockwall, Texas.

We have our share of suffering children.

Children in need of a caring adult who would meet with them once a week, during school hours, for an hour or so to laugh, care, read a book.

The good news is, about 100 children are now being helped by the Rockwall Rotary Literacy Program, in partnership with the Rockwall ISD. But many more mentors are needed.

If you are looking for a way to make an eternal difference in the life of a child, this is it. Studies on resiliency, or the ability to “bounce back” from a difficult childhood, show us that there is one major thing that gives a child success later in life: the presence of a non-family member adult in their childhood to say, you matter. I care about you. Let’s plan and dream together for your life.

Let’s read a book.

If you are ready to make a difference in the life of a child, and you can read, it’s time. Please contact the Chair of this program, Barbara Allan, at ballan@sbcglobal.net or 972-771-8960.

– Debbie Tudor, Co-Founder and Past Chair, Rockwall Rotary Literacy Program

Sherri Clark tutors Fabio Zichittella at Springer Elementary. Photo submitted by Barbara Allan.

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