The Kids Hope mentor program is a fantastic way for your church to connect with your local community and to provide support for children in their primary school.
The formula is pretty simple.
One hour per week.
Being a mentor is firstly about offering friendship and encouragement. Students are given time out of class to spend an hour with their mentor each week. They are usually referred to the program due to difficulties at home or at school. As a mentor, you’re not there to be an expert at fixing their problems, but by being a caring presence you can help build their confidence, willingness to communicate, and ability to relate to others. To know that an adult is concerned for their well-being makes all the difference in the world.
What do mentors do?
Chat with their student.
Go for a walk around the school yard.
Talk about life.
Do a puzzle together.
Kids Hope provides training and support. We know from experience that being a mentor is often as rewarding for the adult as it is for the child.
Kids Hope was started by World Vision but has since become an independent charitable organisation. About 200 schools around Australia participate, with the Uniting Church being one of the largest contributors. Several schools in Port Phillip East Presbytery are involved, some for over a decade. A church may have just a few mentors, others have more. Many mentors are retired people with time on their hands and a desire to put something back into the local community.
The following schools have expressed interest in having mentors from Kids Hope. If one of these schools is near to your church, please consider joining the program. Don’t contact the schools. The first contact is with Kids Hope who will explain the program to you and what is involved. Kids Hope undertake the initial negotiations and setup with the school.
Westall PS – Clayton South
Crib Point PS – Crib Point/Hastings
Elsternwick PS – Elsternwick
Yarrabah Special School – Chelsea
Cardinia PS – Cardinia/Pakenham
Rosewood Downs PS – Dandenong
Wooranna Park PS – Dandenong
Kingsley Park PS – Frankston
Cranbourne West PS – Cranbourne
Mt Waverley Heights PS – Mt Waverley/Chadstone
Athol Road PS – Springvale
Tim Smith, Community Engagement manager for Kids can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
You can also find out more at kidshope.org.au