Every Thursday, Beth McGee visits Walnut Bend Elementary to spend 30 minutes during lunch period guiding four elementary students through decision making and developing healthy relationships. Going into her third year as a mentor, Beth has seen her students grow in self-esteem and confidence, and in their desire and determination to get along with others. In addition, behaviors and attitudes have improved, anger has been addressed and managed, and conflict resolution strategies have been mastered in a way that prepares her students not only for middle school, but for life. “When I hear that what we’re doing together is influencing choices they make and the direction their lives are going, I can’t tell you how satisfying that is. I love being a Lunch Bunch mentor and feeling that I’m helping children grow in ways that will help them now and as adults.” Beth has been involved with Making It Better since 2014. After hearing about our organization from a board member, Beth recognized that a part-time staff position as a Reading Interventionist would be her dream job. “Not every child is able to master the skills needed to become proficient in reading with the instruction and feedback given in the classroom alone,” she says. “Reading Intervention reinforces and builds upon what a child experiences in his or her classroom." Since 2014, Beth has contributed her time and talents not only as a staff member but as a volunteer in our Lunch Bunch mentor program. Beth attributes her love of teaching and mentoring at-risk children to her mother who was determined to instill in her certain ideologies. “All people are to be valued, for instance, and treated with respect. Learning is something you do your whole life and giving back is important and makes a difference in this world,” she says. With her compassion and positivity, Beth is one of our most dedicated volunteers today. Every week she goes above and beyond in preparing for the Lunch Bunch program to ensure her students get the most out of their experience. In addition, she dedicates her time to help facilitate literacy activities at Family Literacy Night, works with students in our summer program, and volunteers for various other projects. Beth’s service is helping to empower her students by building their literacy, leadership and life skills. She plans to continue being a Lunch Bunch mentor in the upcoming school year in addition to joining our staff again as a Reading Interventionist. If you are interested in any of our programs, please contact Ashley at email@example.com for more information.