As much a mentoring program as teaching

Kara Fincham reads the directions given by chamber members on how to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, while Courtney Coleman follows the directions.

Kara Fincham reads the directions given by chamber members on how to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, while Courtney Coleman follows the directions.

The Student Organization for Developing Attitudes (SODA) were the guests during the Tuesday, Sept. 3 Louisa County Chamber of Commerce business breakfast meeting.

SODA, comprised of students in grades nine through 12, is co-sponsored by Elizabeth Ott and Linda Tyler at the Louisa County High School.

According to Ott, the program has been in the high school for more than 15 years.  Selection into the club is a rigorous process and not everyone who applies gets into SODA.

“They are really top of the line kids,” Ott said.

The organization reaches out to the fourth graders in Louisa County.

The SODA members teach fourth graders character development from different lessons in the club’s manual. Some of the lessons teach responsibility, being a good friend, making good decisions, and how to pay attention and follow directions.

Ott said they typically give t-shirts to all the fourth graders in February, but in the past two years they have not due to the earthquake and the fact that two schools had to be replaced.

Ott said businesses can donate and have their names stamped on the shirts.

The club is looking to purchase approximately 400 shirts at a cost of $2,500.

“It’s exciting for these kids to have a high school kid coming out to spend time with them,” Pam Matthews, manager of the adult day care center for JABA said. “[You’re] doing something great for your company and something great for the school.”

Ott said that the club has a central office fund that is used for supplies and that members of the club usually spend their own money to purchase prizes for the fourth graders,

The main goal for SODA is to help develop fourth graders into becoming responsible citizens.

“They are role models and fourth graders love to see them,” Ott said.

The students spend approximately a half an hour once or twice a month to an assigned school where they are basically the teacher for that half hour.

To read the entire story, see the Sept. 19 edition of The Central Virginian.

By tcvnews
Posted on Thursday, September 19, 2013 at 12:11 pm