Thursday, May 31, 2012

Another great year for the Salem Imprint Program!

Do you remember “Animal Farm”, “Anthem”,  “Children of the River”, “Lord of the Flies”, “Of Mice and Men”, and “To Kill a Mocking Bird”?  Well, 31 local volunteers recently read one or two of those books with a North Salem High School student through the Imprint Program, a program that matches an attorney with a student so that they can form a one-on-one relationship over a semester through reading a book and exchanging letters about the book.  The Imprint Program provides the student an opportunity to interact with a positive adult role model and encourages the student’s interest in learning.

Each of the students who participated in the program is involved in AVID (Advanced Via Individual Determination) at North Salem High School.  AVID students have the intellectual capacity to attain college entrance, but tend to have barriers, such as economic or language barriers or the lack of a support system, that may prevent them from going to college.  AVID helps students develop the critical thinking and organizational skills they'll need to attend college, acquaints them with the college environment and advanced courses, and assists them with college and scholarship applications.  

Most students sailed through the semester and the Imprint Program.  Other students faced challenges: an unanticipated mid-semester move out of the country, dropping out of the ninth grade, and truancy.  The volunteers answered the call and remained committed, dedicated, and flexible throughout the semester.  

The highlight of the program occurred in May when the students and volunteers met face to face at North Salem High School for a party.  For fifty minutes room 219 was filled with happy chatter.  Many letters and doughnuts later, all participants had grown a bit from sharing themselves with one another.  

We extend a special thank you to the Marion County Bar Association, Mary Leonard Law Society, and Willamette University College of Law for funding the spring program. 

-Co-coordinators Shannon Reel and Heather Vogelsong
 
 Photo (from left to right):  Heather Vogelsong, Aireanne Chapman, and Shannon Reel

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