As summer comes to a close and classes are back in full swing, the Lane County chapter of the NAACP will be holding an open house to introduce NAACP staff and volunteers and promote their youth programs. The event will take place at noon Saturday, Oct. 5, on the second floor of the downtown LCC building, 101 W. 10th Ave.
Recent statistics have shown that only 15 percent of African-American students have scored college-ready on the math section of the ACT and only 18 percent on reading, and the NAACP is working to improve these numbers. The main programs they will introduce include Back to School/Success in School, a tutoring program, Eugene/Springfield ACT-SO (an African-American youth enrichment program), and the Youth Council, a multicultural leadership program open to all kids. The NAACP has seen a solid level of growth in these programs over the past several years. The group is hoping to see at least 25 youth with their parents at the event, says Lane County NAACP president Eric Richardson.
Students will be able to sign up for these programs at the open house, as well as meet the NAACP staff and volunteers and explore the space where these programs run. The NAACP works in collaboration with LCC to make the programs possible and will have access to classrooms, conference rooms and computer labs throughout the year.
“We are putting out this open house for more community involvement — to make more people aware that there is the opportunity to give back to the community through mentoring and tutoring,” Richardson says.
Currently, there are about eight active volunteers, and every board position is non-paid, making the NAACP a volunteer-based organization with limited funds, Richardson says. Most funding for these programs and other NAACP endeavors comes from membership fees and donations.
The NAACP also seeks support from students in the area. They are looking for more volunteer involvement from UO and LCC and will be recruiting at campuses in the coming weeks for mentors and tutors. See naacplanecounty.org for more information.