By Ken Steadman
Kids on the Rise (KOTR) recently elected Aaron Elmore to serve on the Board of Directors. Aaron was born and raised in Cumberland County Tennessee. He graduated from CCHS in 1998 and has worked for the past 5 years at TAP Printing Company.
Aaron’s family consists of his wife, Amanda and two children, Bryce, age 7 and Candace age 3. They currently live in the Homestead area. Aaron is a graduate of Tennessee Tech with a bachelor’s degree in accounting. He was previously employed as an auditor with the IRS and Farm Bureau Insurance and served on the Board for the Cumberland Homestead Tower Association. He currently spends quality time coaching Little League Baseball.
Other Board members of Kids on the Rise are:
President Josh Stone, VP Deanna Magdich, Sec. John Sohmer, Treasure Ben Whitson, Mary Coates, Dave Farney, Art Gernt II, Patsy Thompson-Horst, Kalyn Phelps, Gene Skipworth, Steven Smith, Ken Steadman and Andrea van Rekom. Donna King serves as Executive Director.
KOTR is committed to helping school children reach their full potential covering literacy, learning and life. They also help improve the child’s self-esteem, keep them in school and enhance their positive development. KOTR is a non-profit organization that provides Mentors and Storybook Readers for the Cumberland County School System.
Mentoring is a one-on-one relationship between a youth and an adult. The mentor provides consistent support and guidance to the youth who is going through difficult challenges in life. Their teacher refers students to the Mentoring Program. They are often considered at-risk because they are performing below their potential.
KOTR matches community volunteers with a student after a complete screening, background check and finger printing. The volunteer and student form a mentor/mentee team. This team meets weekly either at or away from the school and at special activities planned by KOTR. They’re maybe some occasional out-of-pocket expenses that the mentor must cover from time to time to help build the relationship.
KOTR Storybook Readers are volunteers who spend time each week reading aloud in Grades K-8 classrooms. The National Academy of Education found that reading aloud is a practice that should continue throughout all grades. It conditions a child’s brain to associate reading with pleasure and builds their vocabulary. Students who read the most, read the best, achieve the most and stay in school the longest.
There is a great need currently for male mentors. Twenty-six children are presently on the wailing list for a mentor. Most of these young students are young boys who are in need of an adult male roll model. Please call KOTR Executive Director Donna King at 459-2388 for more information and a personal interview meeting.