SULC is VIPS Partner of the Month–From left: law student volunteers Jameshia Durham and Summerian Green, Chancellor Pierre, law student volunteer Shirlese Rivera, and Paula Breckenridge, assistant principal of Claiborne Elementary School.
The Southern University Law Center was recently recognized as a Partner of the Month by Volunteers In Public Schools (VIPS).
The recognition took place on Thursday, November 19, at the East Baton Rouge Parish School Board meeting. Interim Chancellor John Pierre and third-year law student volunteers Shirlise Rivera and Summerian Green of Georgia; and Jameshia Durham of Dallas, were presented a medal for their participation in VIPS reading and math tutorial programs –“EveryBody Reads” and “EveryOne Counts.”
“I think it is one of the most amazing programs I’ve ever participated in because it is helping the babies,” said Rivera, who has been involved in the program for the past year. “They are our future and we want them to have a strong foundation. Besides, it makes me feel good on the inside knowing that I’m helping somebody else.”
The law students volunteer at Claiborne Elementary School, Ryan Elementary School, and J. K. Haynes Charter School. The program is open to children in pre-kindergarten through second grade. There are 11 SULC students volunteering in the reading program and 10 in the math program. Tutors spend 30 to 45 minutes a week helping students to improve their math and reading skills and much more.
“The SULC students serve as role models for our kids,” said Lynelle Dixon, the VIPS Partners In Education coordinator. “College is not talked about at home for many of the students we serve, so seeing the law students makes going to college a reality. We appreciate Southern’s participation and hope to grow the program even more.”
“I love the law students,” said Tony Pryer, coordinator of EveryBody Reads. “The principals tell me that the SULC students bring much more to their campuses than academics. They bring character, motivation, desire, and goal setting. The principals say they have even seen a positive change in the culture and attitudes of their students because of the volunteers.”
Officials say they need more volunteers, especially for schools in North Baton Rouge. For more information on the program or to find out how you can become a volunteer, go to vips.ebrschools.org or call (225) 226-4700.