Mingus Union seeking four volunteers<br><i>Teachers need help in classrooms and shop</i>

Ed Womack, coordinator of volunteers for Mingus Union High School, is looking for volunteers to help teachers. He has four openings for volunteers in auto mechanics, welding and English department.

For the auto mechanics class, the school is looking for someone who likes working on cars. Womack said the main goal is to have someone help monitor safety in a class of 25 to 30 students.

"They're working with dangerous tools," Womack said. The need is for someone to help keep an eye on the students. But it would be helpful if the person is experienced in auto mechanics.

"They don't have to be a master mechanic," Womack said.

The same goes for a volunteer in the welding class. Safety is the issue, and a basic knowledge of welding is all that's required. "They should be able to put on a mask and work with students," he said.

In the English department, the school needs two volunteers. One teacher needs someone to help in the classroom during an English-writing course. Womack said the teacher asked for "Someone that enjoys literature and has experience in writing."

That volunteer will also be expected to help student writing groups while they are working on four major papers.

The other volunteer needed in the English department is for a general clerk who can maintain a bulletin board, file and handle paperwork, including making copies.

"That teacher needs someone to help organize paperwork," Womack said. "They would need good organization skills and a logical mind."

Volunteers also must fill out a registration form and undergo a background check.

"We want to tell teachers and parents that we know who is working with the kids," Womack said.

Following the initial paperwork, Womack interviews the applicants to determine which area he or she would be best suited for. He said information, such as personal experience, education and practical training, are useful in placing volunteers. "Their experience can be pretty general," he said.

Womack started the Mingus volunteer program seven years ago. He had volunteered to help out, but he was told the school didn't actually have a volunteer program. The superintendent at that time asked Womack if he would organize such a program.

Now he has 27 volunteers for the current semester. "It varies from semester to semester, primarily because of sports," he said. "Last semester, we had 32 volunteers."

Volunteers are asked to make a minimum commitment of working for one class period per week for an entire semester.

"Part of my job isn't to find things for volunteers to do," he said. "It is to find help for the teachers and students."

For information, call Ed Womack at 634-7531, ext. 626.

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