With Father's Day coming up and Mother's Day just recently passed, I've been thinking about how it takes a village to raise a child.
I believe Father's Day and Mother's Day are opportunities for all of us to contribute to the raising of children in our community. Adult mentors of all kinds (uncles and grandfathers, teachers and coaches, as well as neighbors and mentors connected to a program like Kids 'n Kinship) can step in and spend time with children to encourage and have fun with them.
As a caring adult who doesn't have to spend extra time with a kid, a mentor is able to develop a friendship with a child. Through that bond, mentors have a unique opportunity to teach social skills, help with schoolwork, and talk with the child about their behavior, choices, and goals.
Take Cory, for example. Before being matched with his mentor, Bob, Cory was getting in trouble in school for fighting with other kids. Cory has never known his dad, but in the last few months since being matched with Bob, he's been doing great at home and at school. Cory enjoys having fun with Bob, but even more so he knows that Bob values him and believes the best of him and so Cory tries harder to get along with his peers at school, to focus on his schoolwork, and to help out at home with his little sister.
All it takes is an hour or two a week and caring about a kid, and you can make a difference. Become a friend to a child today!