HENRICO COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — If you stop by the Making a Difference for You (MAD4YU) office on East Parham Road, you will see a connection between volunteers and student of all ages who need a little help getting past a plateau.
“We are here because we truly want to make an impact on the community,” says Gail Crawford, the President and Founder of MAD4YU.
The nonprofit offers free basic computer instruction to older adults to help them stay in touch with their children or find a job.
“It’s not their era, but they’re willing to learn,” explains Crawford, who has worked in Information Technology for 44 years.
Tutoring is also a big part of MAD4YU’s foundation.
“You know, I was always saying, ‘I want to make a difference, I want to make a difference,'” remembers Crawford. “And I said, ‘I’m going to start a computer technology resource center.'”
Crawford pairs up volunteers with school-aged students who are struggling or those working towards their GED.
“I felt real confident that I’m going to succeed in what I’m trying to achieve,” says GED student Nancy Bray, whose granddaughter also attends MAD4YU for tutoring.
The one-on-one instruction benefits students all year round, but it is especially helpful during the summer when studies show kids can lose two months of reading skills and widen achievement gaps.
“Our goal is to pair them up with a volunteer for each subject,” says Crawford. “Their grades are improving one grade level up or two, and they love being here. The parents are loving it, the children are loving it, the tutors are loving it and we’re truly making a difference.”
MAD4YU serves low to moderate income families in the Richmond and Tri-Cities area. Crawford says none of the work would be possible without her team of dedicated volunteers.
MAD4YU has about 40 students right now, and Crawford is hoping to sign up even more through a new partnership with Henrico County’s Family Engagement program.
This weekend MAD4YU is holding a Family Fun Day to raise money for its tutoring and adult computer education services. It is Saturday, June 17 from noon until 6:00 p.m. at MAD4YU, 827 East Parham Road Suite 6B in Henrico County.
Follow this link for a list of activities at the fundraiser or to make a donation.