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Volunteers needed to share experiences with county students

July 24, 2006

BALTIMORE - The Maryland Business Roundtable for Education (MBRT) needs volunteers from the Washington County business community to share their work experiences with area eighth- and ninth-graders and show them the connection between what they are learning in school and life in the real world, according to a MBRT press release.

Volunteer speakers are part of the roundtable's Achievement Counts Speakers Bureau, a program designed to let Maryland high school students know about the rigorous course work they will need to take - and complete - while in high school in order to succeed after they graduate, regardless of whether they go on to college or directly into the workplace, according to the release.

MBRT hopes to reach out to nearly 2,000 eighth- and ninth-graders in Washington County this fall. To do that, the organization estimates it will need 60 volunteers, according to the release.

Volunteer speakers typically are asked to make four 45-minute classroom presentations during the fall semester. Volunteers are able to choose the school, dates and times that are most convenient for them, according to the release.

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Before entering the classroom, each volunteer receives three hours of training on facilitating the Achievement Counts presentation in the classroom, according to the release.

According to an MBRT survey, 97 percent of the students who were addressed last year by the Speakers Bureau indicated they now would attend school regularly. Ninety-six percent of those students said they would work harder in school, and 83 percent said they would take and complete more rigorous course work, according to the release.

MBRT hopes to attract more than 2,000 volunteer speakers to help carry the message to 75,000 students in 200 middle and high schools throughout the state, according to the release.

MBRT is a coalition of more than 100 major Maryland employers committed to improving student achievement in the state, according to the release.

To register or for information, call LaTara Harris at 410-727-0448, send an e-mail to latara@mbrt.org or go to www.mbrt.org/speak.

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