Some time early in Term 2, I wrote an article for the Weekly SNAC about the Kids Hope mentoring program. The program is a partnership between a local church and school where the church trains members of the congregation to mentor children who, for a number of reasons, would benefit from the support of a mentoring relationship.
Unlike other ministries at SNAC, the Kids Hope program is completely secular, standing as a support to our existing Word ministries and building opportunities for new ones in the school community. It’s now early in Term 3 and I’m very excited to announce that our mentoring sessions have been up and running for around 4 weeks now and have been going extremely well!
There is a team of 9 mentors who have been fully trained and will be meeting with their Kids Hope mentee for 1 hour every week for the rest of the year. I thought I’d share a couple of highlights from the process so far:
On my first week I talked with my Kindergarten child about the things we like to do. One thing I shared was my love of gardening, so we planted peas in cups of soil and I gave him the responsibility of making sure the seeds had just the right amount of water and light. On my third visit to pick him up from the classroom he jumped up out of his seat full of excitement and ran to grab his sprouted peas from the window with the rest of the class all jumping up excitedly too and shouting “Brendan look!”. All this happened before I had even knocked on the door and the poor teacher could do nothing but laugh.
Another mentor who was nervous about her first mentoring session was thrilled when her child finished their initial session by declaring, “This was great. Can we do it again?”
All of the classroom teachers involved have been very positive about the program and are excited about what we can do. I’ve already had a number of conversations with teachers asking which church we are from and what other ministries we offer.
How can you be involved?
1) Pray. We are still early on in the mentoring sessions, so relationships are still forming. Pray that they would be strong, honest and open relationships.
Pray that the mentoring sessions would be beneficial for the children involved and that mentors can help address and develop areas of concern or need with their mentees. While the mentoring relationships themselves are not opportunities for gospel proclamation, pray that the goodwill and good reputation of our church generated through the program would lead to many other gospel opportunities in the school community.
2) Get involved yourself. In Term 4 I will be training more Kids Hope mentors for 2015. If you think you could be a part of our mentoring team, speak to me or any of the other mentors and hear our stories.
Our Kids Hope mentors are Felicia Fernando, Debbie Francis, Scott Lincoln, Avril Lonsdale, Brendan Moar, Kate Moar, Sophie Norved, Kevin Stepniewski and Carmel Vincent.