Sonora, Ca — January has been declared National Mentoring Month, and agencies in the Mother Lode remind residents that there is always a need for quality mentors.
“We match caring adults with kids who need a friend,” says Elena Linehan with the Atcaa Mentoring Works Program. “We can match kids as young as four and as old as 17, and the mentors can be anywhere from 18 to 118.”
Linehan says the program requests that mentors commit for a period of one year, and agree to get together with a child between two-to-four hours per week. The volunteers are encouraged to involve the children in activities they enjoy. Popular options have included fishing, sewing, hiking, going to movies, etc.
Each mentor is offered training to help them with the process. Linehan says there is never a shortage of kids in need, so she is always recruiting new mentors. Currently her program in Tuolumne County has 22 matches. She notes that a similar program in Calaveras County ran through the County Office of Education has around 18 pairings.
To learn more about the Atcaa Mentoring Works program, you can call 209-533-1397 x 229. Calaveras Youth Mentoring can be reached at 209-736-6078.
Written by BJ Hansen