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Changing the 71 percent

Front entrance to the Burton Elementary.

By Mycah Roark – Collegiate Staff

Seventy one percent of Michigan students are not proficient in reading. Is there a change to be seen in the near future?

Affinity Mentoring is a local organization designed to change this. Affinity Mentoring, a organization in the process of becoming a non-profit organization, focuses on helping students improve on their studies, social skills, and emotional well being through the partnership with an adult. Every child is paired with an adult with common interests.

Affinity exists because education and children are our future,” said Laura Ward, the executive director of Affinity Mentoring. “We chose mentoring because we are not ok with these statistics, 22 percent of children in MI are living in poverty; 71 percent of fourth graders are not proficient in reading, etc. (Affinity Mentoring) sees mentoring as something that everyone should experience.”

Affinity Mentoring has been working with Burton Elementary since 2001 and Burton Middle since 2013 and their most recent Southwest Community Campus since 2015. Affinity Mentoring has a room set up inside Burton Elementary and Burton Middle school, where each student and mentor can meet and work together. The room has the supplies needed to improve the learning experience and bonding time, books, games, etc. Each mentor and student meet once a week. Affinity makes sure that no student misses important learning time and that their mentors work with the teachers so that they know what to work on to benefit their student the most.

Last year alone the organization matched 210 students to a mentor and this year the goal is to match 250 students. Affinity would one day love to become apart of other schools in their community, but funds have placed a pause on that dream, that is why Affinity has asked for more mentors, volunteers or even people willing to make a monthly pledge to help them continue making an impact on the lives of students and the community. For more information and applications for mentoring, volunteering and donating visit Affinity Mentoring to find out more.


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