Children need mentors
By Airman 1st Class Stephen Linch, 509th Bomb Wing Public Affairs
/ Published June 28, 2007
WHITEMAN AIR FORCE BASE, Mo. --
The Knob Noster R-VIII School District has projected a need for at least 75 mentors for the next school year. Team Whiteman is currently capable of helping only a fraction of the children in need, according to Bob Berger, from the Whiteman Airman and Family Readiness Flight.
People can help children in the school district by donating as little as an hour of their time each week, said Mr. Berger.
Anyone with access to base can become a mentor by completing an application and background check and attending a two-hour orientation training class.
"I'm not sure who gets more from mentoring, but at the end of this past year as I was saying goodbye to Matthew, my fourth grader, he gave me a big hug and thanked me," said Jeffrey Harrington, 509th Communications Squadron. "What better payment can there be for giving a few hours of my time?"
The base began mentoring programs in 1994 with the goal of helping at-risk kids get through school, according to Mr. Berger. The local school district's student population is more than 70 percent military. This includes not only active duty military but also retired military, civil servants, and their spouses.
"We should encourage Air Force members who can provide leadership and vision to our young people, members who have energy and patience for a long-term commitment, to serve as mentors," retired Gen. Billy Boles, former commander of Air Education and Training Command, said.
For more information call Bob Berger at 687-7132.