Helping students and families in our neighborhood
“This is a unique program… “and the key is identifying promising students in elementary school.” We help them prepare for college, and encourage continuing success during middle and high school.”
Saint Andrew’s Scholars at Neal Elementary
The Saint Andrew’s family has continued the Saint Andrew’s Scholars scholarship program, as part of our Neighbors with Neal association with Neal Elementary School. It began in 2007, and this scholarship program awards $1000 scholarships to 4th grade students at Neal School, at the end of each school year. The recipients are selected by the teachers at Neal. The scholarships are held in an account at the Bryan Education Foundation and the money accumulates earnings each year as the students continue in school. The $1000 plus accumulated earnings are applied towards the cost of attendance when they attend college or vocational school.
How can you help:
The program is supported totally by contributions from individuals and needs your support to continue providing scholarships.Contributions of any amount are greatly welcomed and are combined together in the scholarship fund. If you can participate, make your check payable to Saint Andrew’s and write “Saint Andrew’s Scholars at Neal” on the memo line.
Neal Mentors Program: Saint Andrew’s is excited to continue offering a mentor program, which began in 2015. We are looking for parishioners to spend about 30 minutes a week with Neal elementary students. Required Training is offered before the school year.
Neal Clothes Closet: In addition to the Scholars and Mentor program, Saint Andrew’s is providing gently used clothing to Neal elementary school for the school year. Clothes and monetary donations appreciated.
Why do people volunteer to serve as Mentors or Reading Buddies at Saint Andrew’s?
The Rev. Mary Lenn Dixon, Deacon
One new volunteer this year, Nick Mizer, says that he has been watching the ministry Saint Andrew’s does at Neal and thinking about how he might get involved. “Look what’s going on in our community and in the world,” he says. “I just want to make a difference.”
Another new volunteer, Judy Turbiville, says she’s always been interested in education and has served as a HOSTS volunteer and a preschool paraprofessional before moving to College Station. “I’ve seen how much difference it makes for a child to have half an hour of someone’s attention—even ten minutes, in fact. I want to do this because it’s a way to make a child’s life happier.”
Saint Andrew’s Mentors at Neal meet for half an hour a week with one student who has been identified as being at special risk of dropping out down the line. Mentors just “hang out” with the child—no need for tutoring or schoolwork. The Mentor shows the child that somebody notices him or her, somebody cares how they’re feeling and how they’re doing. Maybe the Mentor talks about a favorite sports figure or works puzzles with the child. Sometimes this is enough to help end a bout with depression or to encourage someone to keep trying on homework in order to have a better day at school.
Reading Buddies work with younger children—Kindergarten through 2nd grade—to encourage love of reading by reading to them and, depending on the age, giving them an opportunity to practice reading where they are not exposed to others’ judgment.
If you are interested in volunteering at Neal, please contact Deacon Mary Lenn ([email protected] or 979-574-4231) to get scheduled for the required Safeguarding God’s Children and to apply to the school for volunteer duty.