MARILYN HAGERTY: January the time to reach out, help child stay on trackMentor program helps youngsters who just need a friend
It doesn’t take a lot of time — maybe an hour a week. And the benefits that come from an adult mentoring a child at risk are far reaching. I am thinking of a second grade girl I met this week at Lewis and Clark Elementary School. We’ll call her Amanda because that isn’t her name. Names of children in the Amachi Grand Forks Mentorship Program are confidential.
By: Marilyn Hagerty, Grand Forks Herald
Amanda was smiling because she has a friend, or mentor, who meets with her. And they “hang out.” Her friend, Heather Ellingson, is one of the volunteers for the program here in Grand Forks. The two get together each week. Maybe they go to a movie. Maybe they eat Chinese food. Maybe they go for a walk.
The program is modeled after those of Big Brothers and Big Sisters at the YMCA. Children are referred by adults who feel they could benefit from another positive adult role model.
The program coordinator is Jessica Knight located at the LaGrave Center. She can be reached at (701) 732-0433 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Along with the mentorship program, there is a Lunch Buddies program. It now has volunteers — mainly from fraternities and sororities at UND — who join a child once a week for lunch. So far, there are mentors at Lake Agassiz and Lewis and Clark elementary schools. They are getting started with help of Barb Kitko, school social worker.
Benefits to children who have a mentor are far reaching. Surveys show they have better grades and get along better with family members and peers. They show improvement in their self esteem. And they have fewer behavioral programs.
January is National Mentoring Month, and Jessica Knight is hoping to hear her phone ring.
The weekend arrives with North Dakota fans meeting at noon today at the Alerus. ... They will get a preview of the weekend hockey series with the male Gophers from Minnesota and the female Badgers from Wisconsin. ...
And there’s a Grand Forks Kids Show set for the weekend at the Alerus Center. ... There is no school Monday in the city schools or at UND on Martin Luther King Day. ... Spring semester is under way at UND and the first semester ends today in the city schools. ... Never mind that this is Friday the 13th...
Q. A longtime reader in Park River asks where the former Wavra Motors, Studebaker dealer, was located in Grand Forks.
A. I do not know. I have heard of Wavra Motors. Perhaps another reader can tell us.
Q. What do you call the fear of Friday the 13th?
A. Paraskevidekatriaphobia. And people who suffer from this fear will have to go through it three times this year. April and July will both roll around with a Friday the 13th.
Q. What colors of clothing are suggested today for UND students who want to join in on Show Spirits Day?
A. The colors are green, white, orange and even pink.
Stan and Phyllis
Cheerful person of the week: Stan Miller, Phyllis Wedin.
Reach Hagerty at email@example.com or at (701) 772-1055.