50 volunteers provide support at Mort Elementary

- Volunteers from Van Dyke Church are taking their mission of transforming young people's lives straight to where they spend a majority of their days - school. 

The Van Dyke Church Adopt A School program sends more than 50 volunteers a week to Mort Elementary. They work in the food pantry, the school's media center and in classrooms.

Recently, volunteers brought 25 laptop computers this year to help students learn.

"All children have incredible potential and we want the children and families here at Mort to reach that potential," Adopt A Church volunteer Zenia Robertson said. "We are just trying to go where we are called and serve and love children, and we are happy to be here." 

Mort Elementary School's principal said help from the volunteers is really making a difference for the kids.

"We're really working on making sure that we are meeting the individual needs of each and every child, and by having those volunteers, they're helping us to do that," Principal Woodland Johnson explained. "Having all the extra assistance that we can get is so vital in helping our children being not only stable within the community, but also to be stable within the school."

The program is in its third year. Kathy Bame has been with the program since its conception and said she loves the challenge.

"They say it is in giving that you receive, so what I receive here is joy and happiness," Bame said.

"We are just happy that we can partner with Mort Elementary and Hillsborough County Schools to help children just be the best that they can be," Robertson added.

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