Immediate Service Opportunity
Volunteer Opportunities with DeKalb County Students

DeKalb County students are sequestered at home, taking lessons online. This is very challenging for the students and their families. Deprived of normal social contact, some children are experiencing isolation, depression, and impaired learning during critical development stages.

You can help to make a positive impact in the lives of these children in our community by donating just a little of your time.

I'm aware of two opportunities presented through the South DeKalb Improvement Association Education (SDIAE):

  1. Young students need reading assistance, as part of a "Book Buddy Program" - click to see the flier. It involves at least a two-month commitment to read for 1/2 hour, one to three times per week.
  2. Some students (a wide range of ages) need tutoring help with specific subjects. This involves a minimum of one hour commitment, once a week.  I've attached a spreadsheet with specific information, entitled "Mercy Housing SE OST Tutoring List." Some of the students have already been matched with tutors, as indicated under the Notes column. Approximately eight students are awaiting a match. The interactions with students will be virtual (via Zoom).

The coordinator for both volunteer opportunities is Ms. Ella Davis of the SDIAE: Anyone wishing to sign up or learn more should contact her directly: Ms. Ella Davis,  South DeKalb Improvement Association Home: (770) 987-3506,  Work: (404) 626-3780, Email:  davisella@bellsouth.net.

Like most school systems everywhere, DeKalb County has a policy that anyone working with children must undergo a background check. The fingerprinting requirement for virtual interaction has been waived, but the qualification process is still essential. Note that you don’t have to be a resident of DeKalb County or Georgia to participate. The number to call for the background check is 770-724-7740. Press 4, and ask the clerk for a background check form. The clerk will USPS the form to the requester. It must be completed and returned via mail with a money order or cashiers check for $20. The entire process takes about two weeks, so the sooner, the better. It is what it is.

Because of the urgent need, Ms. Davis' organization is willing to purchase certified checks (ahead of time) to meet that requirement and save folks from having to make a trip to the bank or post office. That's a very thoughtful and generous accommodation. However, their funds aren’t unlimited. I would like to encourage people to reimburse the SDIAE for the $20 expense and perhaps make an additional donation via their website at: www.sdiae.org. 

Posted by Jon Yaeger
October 13, 2020


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