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COMMUNITY MATTERS: Ways you can give back

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Are you looking for useful ways to volunteer? Do you want to invest in your community, but are unsure where your donations will do the most good?

Would you like to know more about the services non-profit organizations in your community provide? Read on to discover how you can make a difference in Rutherford County.

Saddle Up for the ACE Learning Center (formerly Project Help) on July 31.
The 8th Annual Saddle Up event to benefit ACE Learning Center (formerly Project Help) is slated for July 31 at 6:30 p.m. at MTSU’s Foundation House, located at 324 W. Thompson Lane in Murfreesboro.

The Western-themed evening will be filled with barbecue, live music and silent auction with more than 100 items up for bid (including two round trip tickets from Southwest Airlines and Dinner for 10 at the Bonefish Grill). Tickets are $50. Sponsorships begin at $250 and are open to individuals as well as businesses. For information on sponsoring the event, contact Advisory Board Member Lindsey Fournier at Lindsey.fournier@sth.org.

This year’s proceeds will go for expansion of programming with the ultimate goal being the provision of a one-stop, wrap-around educational and therapies center.

The Ann Campbell Early (ACE) Learning Center was established in 1983 by Dr. Ann Campbell and was well-known as Project Help for more than 30 years. Dr. Campbell was a professor on the faculty of the Department of Elementary and Special Education until she passed away in February 2011. In 2014, both MTSU and the Tennessee Board of Regents approved changing the name to honor Dr. Campbell’s work and dedication to the university, community families and early learning for children-especially those with special needs.

ACE Learning Center is the only community/center-based as well as home-based inclusive program for young children in Rutherford County. At the Baird Lane and Fairview Center programs, children who have delays play and learn with those who are developing typically or above.

All of the programs engage children between the ages of 3 months to kindergarten (and their families) in a variety of fun and exciting educational experiences. In 2013, ACE Learning Center provided more than 1,500 hours of practical training to pre-service MTSU students working toward careers involving children and families. Because the programs are a part of both MTSU and the Rutherford County community, relationships are strong due to the involvement of professional educators providing hands-on outreach to families. Programming and educational activities are based on the Tennessee Early Childhood Education Early Learning Developmental Standards.

For more information, contact Kerry Boylan at (615) 898-2458 or Kerry.Boylan@mtsu.edu. You can also visit their website at http://www.mtsu.edu/acelearningcenter or the ACE Learning Center Facebook Page.

Other ways to get involved
Read to Succeed
(615) 738-READ
This is a great time to get involved with Rutherford County’s literacy program Read To Succeed! To register for either training listed below, e-mail Debbie Mankin at adultliteracy@readtosucceed.org or call (615) 738-7323.

ESL Training
Open to those who would like to be an ESL (English as a Second Language) teacher or helper in their ESL program.
July 12 & 19, 10 a.m. 4 p.m. at the Lon Nuell Literacy Center (lunch provided)

Tutor Training
Open to those adults wanting to teach adults (18 years & older) to read.
July 17 & 24, 6-8 p.m. at the Lon Nuell Literacy Center (dinner provided)

Volunteers are needed to work the Read To Succeed information table at Blast Back to School on Aug. 23 from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at Cannonsburg. Volunteers are also needed to work Literacy Day on Aug. 2. For more information and to volunteer, please e-mail Malia Grubbs at maliagrubbs@readtosucceed.org or call (615) 738-7323.

Meals on Wheels
(615) 895-1870
Meals on Wheels needs volunteers to deliver meals to the homebound senior adults in our community. The time commitment is one hour once a week. You not only deliver a nutritious meal, you also brighten their day. To help, please contact Debbie Willis at mow.murfreesboro@mchra.com or call (615) 895-1870.

Greenhouse Ministries
(615) 494-0499
This summer, Greenhouse has several opportunities for our community to get involved. They are located at 309 S. Spring St. in Murfreesboro.

Donate: Peanut Butter and Jelly, Cans of soup (especially those with a pop-top lid), Vacuum Cleaner, Office supplies such as copy paper, paper towels, scotch tape, etc.

Volunteer: On July 12, starting at 9 a.m., volunteers are needed to assist with the Mobile Food Pantry. Please call their office to sign up!

Volunteers are also needed for their office, warehouse and food pantry. LPN and RNs and needed in the Nursing Clinic. Contact Shelley Childers for more information at shelley.childers@greenhousemin.org or (615) 494-0499.

Child Advocacy Center, (615) 867-9000
The Child Advocacy Center needs the following donations: Bottled water, canned soda (diet and regular), juice boxes, snacks for children (individually packaged), Kleenex, Clorox wipes, Play-Doh, Markers, Memorex DVD-R 120 min DVDs, DVD sleeves (paper or plastic), Easel pad, paper shredder, Modeling clay for children’s support group. Please contact Jennifer Gamble, Family Services Coordinator, at (615) 867-9000 to make arrangements for dropping off your donations.

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community matters, kristina brown, volunteer
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