From the Basketball Court to the Classroom

Peter Gauthier, Boys and Girls Club VolunteerWe are proud of how well members of The Salvation Army Boys and Girls Club of Greensboro are doing academically.  Many are outperforming their classmates, their peers in the Guilford County Schools, and students across North Carolina. That success comes in part thanks to the volunteers who work one on one with the students who need additional help. 

Volunteers like Peter Gauthier.  Peter helps with the club’s “Power Hour”, a comprehensive homework and tutoring program designed to help keep club members on track with their academic goals.

Peter comes every Monday afternoon to work with students who need extra assistance with their homework.  During that hour, Peter is able to provide something that the staff can’t -- individualized attention.  Peter provides more than just academic help, he’s an emotional resource as well. 

Central Unit Club Director Grace Thompson says having volunteers like Peter who can interact with the club members are such a valuable resource.  “It’s awesome for these kids to have relationships to develop.  It’s through partnerships that we can change their outcomes.”

Peter says he sees the need to help with more than just homework. “It breaks my heart to see these kids because they are so far behind.  If they don’t get the basics now, they will be playing catch up the rest of their life.”

Peter and his family moved to North Carolina 18 years ago from upstate New York.  There, he coached a youth basketball league for eight years.  After moving south, he didn’t feel like he was doing anything and wanted to get involved.

Two summers ago he started a summer basketball program at The Salvation Army Boys and Girls Clubs of Greensboro.  Peter worked with the kids on the fundamentals of the game. The practices gave the club members a chance to learn not only basketball skills, but also important life skills like communication and teamwork.

When the summer came to an end, Peter was approached by Club staff about the opportunity to help with “Power Hour”.  He’s been helping every Monday during the school year since.

“It gives me a lot of pleasure to see the look on their face when they realize they’ve accomplished something they never thought they could,” said Peter.  “If I can help one kid, then that’s perfect.”

As we continue our celebration of National Volunteer Week, we want to say thank you to Peter for providing not only the academic, but also the emotional support that our youth need to succeed. Your donation of time and attention has helped many kids and it will continue to have lasting effects for years to come.  Thank you for supporting our staff; they benefit by having extra time allowing them to focus on the bigger picture at hand.

If you are inspired by Peter’s generosity and would like to help at our Boys and Girls Club or are interested in other volunteering opportunities at The Salvation Army, click here for more details.

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