By David O’Keeffe
Mentor a child and change a life!
Communities in Schools of Lakewood is calling for more mentors to work with students in grades 4-9 at Lochburn and Woodbrook Middle Schools, and Tillicum, Tyee Park and John Dower Elementary Schools, and Clover Park High School. CHAMPIONS stands for ‚ÄúCaring, Helping, Adults, Mentoring, Proudly, In, Our, Neighborhoods, and Schools.‚Äù People who help children and youth to succeed in school and life are real champions.
A mentor is someone who helps a young person define goals and find ways to achieve them. By sharing fun activities and exposing a youth to new experiences, a mentor encourages positive choices, promotes high self-esteem, and supports academic achievement. In some cases, a mentor changes the course of a person‚Äôs life.
This year, 51 kids in Clover Park schools are meeting with a Champions Mentor once a week during the school day. Each adult is screened and trained to help students set personal and school goals. They listen and provide honest feedback‚Ä¶exchange stories‚Ä¶play games‚Ä¶read together. Each week is a new adventure. Here are some quotes from a mentor and a teacher:
From a mentor: ‚ÄúI am excited to be a returning mentor with Communities In Schools. I‚Äôm beginning my third school year of meeting with my mentee, India. I am looking forward to deepening my friendship with India and hoping that as one of the ‚Äúteam‚Äù of adults that are in her life, that I can help her grow in her self-esteem, her personal and academic goals, and that she can have hopes and dreams of a successful and happy future.‚Äù
From a teacher: ‚ÄúMy student had Becky as her mentor last year. T. was always excited for her time with Becky, and was willing to go with her. T. worked for Becky, whereas she would not work for others. Becky was the one definite positive in T‚Äôs life!‚Äù
Mentoring works. When children have a mentor who cares about them and wants them to succeed, they try harder‚Äîand achieve more‚Äîat school and at home. If someone mentored you, maybe now is the time to pay it back. Contact Dave O‚ÄôKeeffe or Christina Klas at 589-7489 to receive an application packet. Or download a volunteer application at our website: www.lakewood.ciswa.org.