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Education




Canyonlands National Park Interpreter Mentors At-risk Students in Utah

I'd like to submit an anecdote about my volunteer service: Grand County, Utah, has a very high percentage of students living at/below the poverty level and in "nonstandard homes" (lacking one or more parental guardians). To help address this problem, the school district sponsors a mentoring program. Through the program, each volunteer adult participant links up with a student (all grades are eligible), with whom they meet for one hour each week, for a minimum of one full school year.

I've been meeting with my mentee for nearly three years, and the changes I've witnessed are incredible. Participating students' grades increase, absenteeism and discipline referrals decrease and their self-esteem gets a tremendous boost. So many American kids struggle without sufficient adult role-models; all it takes is showing an interest and making a commitment of just one hour a week to really change a kid's life. And, of course, she has changed my life, too.

- Karen Henker, lead interpreter, Island in the Sky District, Canyonlands National Park, Moab, Utah


National Park Service Human Resources Specialist in Utah Tutors English-as-Second-Language Students


I am tutoring English-as-a-second-language students in conjunction with a local nonprofit in Moab, Utah.


- Annie Larsen, human resources specialist, Southeast Utah Group, Moab, Utah


National Park Service Employee From Reston, Va., Sorts Book Donations for Local Library


On Sundays this summer I have volunteered with the Friends of Reston Regional Library Inc. - a nonprofit organization. I am one of several individuals responsible for sorting items donated at the Reston Regional Library, Reston, Va. The local community generously donates various books, audio visual materials and puzzles. During any one weekend, the library can receive and process more than 3,000 items in addition to attending to the overflow from prior days.

After we sort items into appropriate categories, we scan the ISBN numbers to identify those that would possibly qualify for sale on Amazon.com. We box the remaining books by category and store them for semi-annual sales or mini-sales. It is through the sales of these donated books and other selected items that the "Friends" are able to provide new books, subscriptions, equipment, furniture and programs that support the many patrons and staff of the Reston Regional Library, as well as the Fairfax County Library System.

- Ruth A. Jobe, Office of the Comptroller, Accounting Operations Center, Reston, Va