Tag Archives: Children

It’s National Mentoring Month!

January is recognized as National Mentoring Month, a time to take an uplifting look at the power of relationships. Mentoring amplifies change, one relationship at a time, and helps young people find and follow their passions.

Hands On Nashville is incredibly fortunate to partner with organizations that sponsor and nurture mentorship programs across Middle Tennessee. Here are just a few options for how volunteers can make a difference in someone else’s life:

  • BEGIN ANEW: Tutor students online to help them grow stronger with their education, and stronger in their faith. Begin Anew is a faith-based education program working to empower individuals to overcome obstacles created by poverty. They provide GED test prep, English as a second language classes, and computer and job-skills classes to adults, as well as mentoring and access to resources. SIGN UP HERE
  • DISMAS HOUSE: Work with adults transitioning out of the prison system to increase their educational and job-preparedness skills. Volunteers assist with preparation for college placement exams, academic support, resume and cover letter writing, internet navigation, and more. Dismas House‘s mission is to foster community awareness and understanding of the challenges and obstacles formerly incarcerated men face upon re-entry by providing a system for personal transformation and growth as they transition back into society. SIGN UP HERE
  • THE FAMILY CENTER: Practice healthy coping, social, and emotional skills with clients at The Family Center! Each year The Family Center helps more than 4,000 families by providing the support and tools they need to better themselves as parents and as people. SIGN UP HERE
  • THE NASHVILLE DOLPHINS: Assist with teaching special needs children to swim while instilling in them a sense of teamwork and accomplishment with the Nashville Dolphins.
    The Nashville Dolphins offer the physical and emotional benefits of swimming to people with special needs regardless of age, ability, or financial circumstances, and their programming is offered at no cost to participants. SIGN UP HERE
  • NASHVILLE INTERNATIONAL CENTER FOR EMPOWERMENT: Become a youth mentor and help students and their families navigate online learning platforms, develop and maintain learning schedules, offer homework assistance, and provide individualized support to English Learner students. It is the Nashville International Center for Empowerment‘s mission to ensure refugees and immigrants achieve their full potential now and for generations to come. SIGN UP HERE
Celebrate International Mentoring Day with us on January 17!

  • PRESTON TAYLOR MINISTRIES: Volunteer with Preston Taylor Ministries’ after-school program, where you can work with children in kindergarten through fourth grade to help facilitate math and reading rotations, give assistance with homework, and provide instruction in enrichment activities. Preston Taylor Ministries is a mentoring program that offers several avenues for building life-changing relationships. SIGN UP HERE
  • SALVATION ARMY NASHVILLE: Volunteer music instructors are needed to assist in teaching future musicians! The Salvation Army offers music lessons two to three days a week, with a flexible schedule for volunteers. Drums, piano, and guitar players are immediately needed, but all other instrumentalists are encouraged to sign up. SIGN UP HERE
  • YOUTH VILLAGES: Offer guidance and support through one-on-one relationships with Youth Villages’ Mentoring Program. This opportunity provides young people receiving their services with positive adult role models. Some mentors choose to play catch at the park, get a burger and hang out, or even take a trip to the county fair. SIGN UP HERE
  • WATER WALKERS: The Water Walkers offer multiple mentorship opportunities with children. Options range from participating in after-school tutoring, having fun during recreational time, or supervising monthly indoor rock climbing adventures.
    Water Walkers is a water-sports and adventure-based education and mentoring nonprofit serving kids in Nashville. They use water sports and adventure to provide chances for kids to face fears, grow in confidence, and learn that they are capable of achieving the life they want for themselves. SIGN UP HERE

Interested in seeing our new volunteer opportunities first? Sign up for our newsletter!

Nonprofit Partner Spotlight: Books from Birth of Middle Tennessee

Desi Smith’s granddaughter, age 3, seems to have a sixth sense for books that are en route to her house. “She always seems to know when her book is in the mail,” Ms. Smith says. “Because of this program, she has such a passion for books and words, and I believe that she will be a great student when it comes time for school. We had three babies born in our church last week, and because of [my granddaughter’s] love for reading, all the parents signed up for Books from Birth.” This amazing organization is turning children into readers, one book at a time.

The mission of Books from Birth of Middle Tennessee is to increase literacy and school readiness while strengthening family relationships. The organization has three early childhood literacy programs:

Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library (32,000 kids receive one book a month from birth through age five, regardless of family income and at no cost to the family)
• Jo’s Reach Out & Read Book Club (at Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt)
• The Family Literacy Program

With only three staff, volunteers are essential in helping with day-to-day maintenance of this organization. Many volunteers fill ongoing needs such as picking up undeliverable books from the post office, registering children for the Imagination Library, reading to kids in clinic waiting rooms, and in-office administrative tasks. While these ongoing volunteer slots are currently full, interested volunteers can email cathy.riviere@vanderbilt.edu to sign up for the mailing list to find out when new slots become available. There are also many one-time needs such as assisting with annual fundraisers (committee chairs, silent auction, set-up/tear-down, marketing, etc.) and participating in community events.

Upcoming Books from Birth volunteer opportunities:

Family Valentine’s Dance – Sat., Feb. 11, The Factory at Franklin:
This annual family-friendly event needs registration volunteers from 5 to 6:30 p.m. Please contact Cathy Riviere at cathy.riviere@vanderbilt.edu to sign up or for more information. Click here for details about the dance and tickets.

Sat., March 24, Belmont United Methodist Church:
This volunteer-driven annual fundraiser features local cupcake vendors and bakers, with proceeds benefiting Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library. Volunteers are needed for the following shifts:

• 12-2 p.m. Setup, sign holders, picking up cupcakes
• 2-5 p.m. Registration, ticket sales, kids area, cupcake stations
• 5-7 p.m. Cleanup/teardown

All volunteers will be entitled to sample a designated number of cupcakes! Read more about this event on the Facebook event page  and click here to sign up.