Each year the number of middle and high school student’s dropout rates increase. Florida has an astonishing 30 percent dropout rate. A non-profit organization called SAS is now being offered to fourth and fifth graders who attend Pine Island Elementary School. The goal of this program is to help prepare island students to better face some of their educational and personal challenges. It is well known that strong skills offered to elementary school students improve the odds to graduate.
The organizers and volunteers have put a lot of thought into the name of this program, “Students Achieving Success”. The program is now available and has 5 Pine Island Elementary students enrolled. This program is offered from 3:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Tuesday and Thursday of each week.
The SAS program is located at 5465 NW Pine Island Road, just east of the Center, in the Beacon of Hope building. The program is not intended to replace the normal classroom experience, but to enhance and offer an extra program to those students who may need additional assist in special areas.
Each child is offered a one-on-one adult mentor/tutor and was not without its start up costs, with most of the financial support coming through donations from the community. One such donor was the St. John’s Episcopal Church, whose members have donated 12 laptop computers with all the educational software to help the students.
Other donations have come from the Kiwanis Club and Greater Pine Island, the Bobby Holloway Jr. Memorial Fund and several individuals.
Pine Island residents have volunteered to staff the SAS Program and help the youth of Pine Island. They have volunteers who come from all walks of life that offer students a wealth of personal experience. Anyone can volunteer all you need to do is take our training program and go through the security clearance program. The SAS program now offers 12 regularly scheduled volunteer mentors and eight enrichment volunteers. For more information call Beacon of Hope: 239-283-5123.