EXchanges in Community, Education, Living, and Learning (EXCELL)
EXchanges in Community, Education, Living, and Learning
What is EXCELL
EXCELL is an outreach ministry of Loma Linda University Church. Our program helps at-risk students in the San Bernardino area by pairing them with volunteer mentors. Mentors and students meet about once a week to do schoolwork, work on reading skills, play educational games, and participate in other positive activities. One of the most important things our mentors can help supply is a healthy dose of self esteem for these students. Just by spending time with their mentors the students begin to see that they have value.
EXCELL also tries to provide social activities on a regular basis. Mentors, students, and their families enjoy bowling, rollerskating, swimming, and other activities . We also have an annual awards program to recognize the accomplishment of the students.
About the youth we serve
The students we tutor are 1st
graders. You can choose the age group with which you are most comfortable working. Some sites serve students who just need some extra help and motivation with their school work. At other sites the tutoring aspect of our work is just the “icing on the cake”. These kids need to know that there are choices in life that are different from what they know in the world around them. We want to help with exploring careers, goal setting, educational options, etc.
Some statistics about youth in our area
San Bernardino, California ranks last—140th
out of 140—among similar cities based on a variety of factors such as health, education, public safety, and community life. (See: http://www.kidfriendlycities.org/2001/city90.html
) Thirty percent of students in the San Bernardino City Unified School District are learning to speak English, while statewide the percentage is 25%. Eighty-two percent of students in the district (vs. 50% statewide) are on free or reduced-price lunch programs. In 2004, 39,684 children were referred to the San Bernardino County Department of Children’s Services for suspected child abuse and neglect. In 2003, the Juvenile Arrest Rate in San Bernardino County was 29.2 per 1000, compared to 20.0 per 1000 for California, and 21.4 per 1000 for the United States . These figures are especially relevant as EXCELL mentors young people in several group homes which often serve children affected by these challenges
Who can become a mentor
Our youngest mentor is 14. Our oldest is… old enough to be a great grandmother. All you really need is a positive attitude toward young people and a desire to help. You do not need to have a background in education. We will try to make sure that you have access to any resource information you may need. Sometimes not
having the answer is the best way to teach-you can find the answer together.
- Be a member of the Loma Linda University Church community.
- Complete a volunteer application.
- Be approved by a background check of three references you provide, verified by an EXCELL representative.
- Clear Livescan fingerprinting (We will assist in making arrangement for Livescan.)
- Attend an individual orientation to the program prior to starting with a student.
- Provide proof of a TB test within the last 3 years if tutoring at a school site.
- Agree to follow the policies of the EXCELL mentoring program.
Site locations: (This information may be updated for the new school year.)
- Spend 1.5 tutoring hours/week with your student.
- Attend EXCELL social functons.
- Attend inservices
- Research curriculum helps for your student.
- Inform the program director of any concerns, problems, or needs of your student.
- Have fun!
- The classroom at the ACTS office is used for tutoring on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday nights from 6:00-7:30
- Reche Canyon Elementary school on Mondays from 3:30-5:00.
- Poplar Street Apartments on Mondays from 6:00-7:30 and Thursdays from 4:00-5:30
- Victoria Church on Wednesdays from 5:30-7:00
- New school and community sites are on the horizon.
Needs of the EXCELL program:
We are in need of gently used educational materials, games, and books
. Donations may be dropped off at the ACTS office or Church office. Please contact Elayna to make other arrangements.
The EXCELL program is supported by donations.
You can sponsor a child for $35/mo and help make a difference in the life of a young person.
The EXCELL program is powered by volunteers.
You can still participate in the program even if you are not able to tutor on a regular basis. We need drivers, in-service speakers and curriculum advisors, help with social events, volunteers to share information about their careers, help with fund raising and grant writing, and regular financial support.
Please remember EXCELL in your prayers.
God has blessed this ministry in so many ways. We know He has great plans for our future.
Contact the EXCELL Program Director, Ashley Pelton
he EXCELL office in the ACTS building on the Northeast corner of Anderson and Barton Rd.
Office hours are Mon - Thur, 4:00-7:00 p.m. (Please call first if you do not have an appointment.)
- (909) 796-8357 ext.28
EXCELL is a life-changing program for San Bernardino metropolitan area at-risk youth. EXCELL enables at-risk young people (from elementary to high-school) to establish relationships with inspiring role-models, improve and maintain college bound grade point averages, choose drug-free habits, establish and reach college and career goals, and avoid public assistance in adult life. EXCELL seeks to accomplish these goals through long term mentoring/tutoring relationships with members of the Loma Linda University Church, community, students, and staff of Loma Linda University (LLU) and Loma Linda University Medical Center (LLUMC); and through a multi-disciplinary structure of services in collaboration with LLU and LLUMC.