Mentoring program takes steps forward

Janice Hull of the Chilton County Chamber of Commerce presented a donation to mentoring program organizer Bill Pinson on Tuesday. Also pictured are Patty Drake with Chilton County DHR, Judge Rhonda Hardesty and Verbena Principal Robin Cagle.

An effort to institute a mentoring program in Chilton County took two significant steps Tuesday.

The Chilton County Chamber of Commerce donated more than $600 to the program Tuesday morning, and later in the day the county’s board of education formally approved the program to work in local schools.

Bill Pinson, an organizer of the program, accepted the donation from Janice Hull, president of the chamber’s board of directors, and said the goal remains to institute a mentoring network at Verbena first and then spread to other county schools.

“We’ve spent a lot of time working on forms, processes and procedures,” Pinson said. “We want to make sure we do it right.”

The funds donated Tuesday are needed to begin training mentors, which will begin in January 2013, Pinson said.

The program will be administered through the county’s Department of Human Resources. Patty Drake with DHR’s quality assurance attended the donation ceremony Tuesday at the Chilton County Courthouse.

Also present were VHS Principal Robin Cagle and Judge Rhonda Hardesty, who Pinson credits with the idea of starting a mentoring program.

There has been a mentoring program in Chilton County before. The chamber administered one in the early 2000s. The money donated was left over from the chamber’s mentoring fundraising efforts.

“When we learned this group was forming we thought this was the right thing to do with the money,” Hull said. “I think it’s a great thing. When we were training our mentors, they told us, ‘It only takes one adult being involved to change a child’s life.'”

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