Launch Of New Clearinghouse Helps Local Youth Overcome Academic And Social Challenges

| January 12, 2012
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Michael E. Busch

Maryland House Speaker Michael E. Busch and Annapolis Mayor Joshua J. Cohen urge locals to get involved in our youth’s future by volunteering as a mentor or tutor.

The speaker and mayor represented the numerous organizations that came together to launch a new initiative called The Treasure Hunters’ Clearinghouse. The kick off took place at 5:00 p.m., Monday, January 9, in City Council Chambers-160 Duke of Gloucester Street.

“Our community is blessed with many caring organizations and individuals who make youth a priority,” Mayor Cohen said. “What’s become clear is that we can do a better job of increasing our effectiveness by better coordinating these many efforts. That’s what this initiative is about.  This is a team effort and I thank Speaker Busch, my colleagues on the City Council and the many partners who are making this a reality.”

This recruitment initiative is the result of the 2010 Youth Summit hosted by Speaker Busch and Mayor Cohen.

The Treasure Hunters’ Clearinghouse will be located at the Volunteer Center for Anne Arundel County and will recruit, screen and train volunteers to mentor and tutor local children for existing agencies and organizations.  The Clearinghouse will recruit 60 volunteers who will work with up to 100 children.  Guest speakers will also be recruited to expose students to academic or cultural enrichment opportunities. 

“As a former teacher and a coach, I know the importance of having strong adult role models for so many of our young people,” said Speaker Busch. “Our children are the future of our State and we must do everything we can to educate them, support them and help them thrive. I am excited to join Mayor Cohen in launching this effort to provide more mentors and tutors for our local youth.”

The overall goal is to help these students overcome the academic and social challenges that affect their performance in the classroom.   Research has proven that mentors and tutors can have a tremendous effect on the confidence level and academic success of students.

Funding from the Community Development Block Grant program, the Anne Arundel Partnership for Children, Youth and Families and Capital City Safe Streets will be used to cover the general operating expenses of the Clearinghouse, including salaries, office supplies, training, marketing/recruitment, printing and postage. 

The training funds will allow mentors and tutors to participate in a 4-hour Kids @ Hope training workshop and Mentoring 101.  Volunteers will also be required to undergo a background check.

A key component of the effort is the resolution adopted by the Annapolis City Council on January 25, 2010 signifying Annapolis as a City at Hope.  The Mayor and the City Council are committed to the principles of Kids @ Hope, an evidenced-based philosophy that inspires, empowers, and transforms families, youth serving organizations (schools, parks and recreation departments, police and fire departments, etc.) and entire communities to create an environment where all children experience success, no exceptions!  Kids @ Hope is not a program; it is a belief system, supported by a cultural strategy and then enhanced by programs.

The following are committed to maximizing the capacity of organizations that mentor and/or tutor children in an attempt to reduce the cycle of poverty and to narrow the achievement gap for children who live in poverty in Annapolis:

  • The Volunteer Center for Anne Arundel County 
  • Office of the  Mayor
  • The Office of Maryland House Speaker
  • Annapolis Police Department
  • Anne Arundel County Partnership for Children, Youth and Families
  • The Anne Arundel County School System

For more information on the initiative, contact Lyn Farrow at 410-260-2200.

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Category: Local News, NEWS

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