Melody Kruder, former director said in her 33 plus years in education she became increasingly aware of challengers students were facing; students who came to school with unexplained marks and bruises, stories of domestic violence, kids who were hungry or in dirty clothes, and others who visited the school nurse just to talk. She said she became aware of CASA in 2002 and became a volunteer and the director in 2006. She said, “I wish we had worked ourselves out of a job, but looking at the statistics you can see we haven’t.” At the end of November 2012 there were 72 children in Marshall County identified as abused or neglected.
Kruder then introduced Haley Kittrell, a three year trained CASA volunteer with a criminal justice degree. Kittrell began her position on December 31st.
Haley spoke of the need for dedicated volunteers. She said, “The need is still growing every day….A volunteer gets the opportunity to make a difference in a child’s live.” She then said the next 6-week training course will run February 26th through April 4th, 3 hours a night on Tuesday and Thursday evenings. There are currently 11 potential volunteers interested in attending the training course.
Ms. Kittrell thanked Commissioner Jack Roose for recognizing the safety priority within the county and provided ID badges for her as a means of visible recognition. She then asked to have ID badges volunteers and noted, “These would be helpful to for volunteers to take along when meeting with the families, service providers and in a school setting where safety has become paramount.”
The commissioners approved the request.
The new director closed by saying, “We would like to thank you again for your attention today and for allowing us to express our gratitude for all you have done and continue to do for our organization. We are passionate about our volunteers and the children we serve, and we would not be able to do so without support from the community and people like each of you.”