(Posted Sept. 16, 2019)
By Kristy Zurbrick, Madison Editor
Opportunities take many forms when it comes to making a positive difference in the life of a child experiencing hardship.
One of those opportunities is the after-school tutoring program hosted by Daily Needs Assistance (DNA), a non-profit, faith-based outreach organization located in Plain City.
DNA is looking for volunteers to serve as tutors for students in grades 5-8. Tutors spend time reading with students and helping them with homework. The program takes place from 3 to 5 p.m. Monday-Thursday in DNA’s LIFT Learning Center. (LIFT stands for Life’s Important Friendships Transform.)
While the tutoring program is open to all students, most are referred to DNA by teachers in the Jonathan Alder School District.
“About 85 percent are dealing with adverse situations–addiction in the home, an incarcerated parent, the loss of a parent to addiction or divorce,” said Tamara Reed, DNA executive director. “We offer a place that gives them a sense of community and, of course, academic help. We have a particular heart for those kids who have difficult home situations.”
Janet Lanka, a 40-year teaching veteran, heads up the after-school tutoring program, now in its fourth year.
“She is incredibly committed to these kids,” Reed said. “It’s all about encouragement and building relationships…It really is a place where kids get lifted.”
The program has grown each year and now serves between 12 and 27 students per day. There is room for more growth.
“We can only be as big as the number of volunteers we have,” Reed said.
Currently, the goal is to have six volunteers on hand each day the program is offered. Anyone interested in helping can choose how often they volunteer.
For more information, contact Janet Lanka at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.dnaplaincity.org.
After-school tutoring is just one of the programs DNA offers. Among the others are a free medical clinic, personal needs pantry, children’s clothing closet, pregnancy resources, mentoring, life skills training, and community meals.
DNA is located at 340 W. Main St., Plain City, in the former Plain City Elementary building. Call (614) 824-8340 for more information.