If so, we have just the opportunity for you. Come by our office in West Jackson to submit an application to mentor three to four young folks at Pecan Park Elementary through our TALKS (Transferring A Little Knowledge Systematically) Mentor program. The commitment is once a week for an hour at the school which is located a few blocks from our center. Time slots available are 8am (4th grade), 10am (3rd grade), 1pm (5th grade) Monday through Friday. However, we do suggest that, if at all possible, mentors choose any day besides Friday due to many teachers administer tests on Fridays. We will understand if this is your only day to volunteer and will still welcome you to join us. For more information on the program, visit http://www.talksmentoring.org/ or call KaSteesha Cosby at (601)354-1563 or shoot her an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. Hurry, applications are due by Tuesday, October 1, 2013. The opening dinner and training will take place on Tuesday, October 8, 2013. Dinner will be at Pecan Park from 5:30-6:30pm and training will begin at 7pm the the Spencer Perkins Center (1831 Robinson Street). We hope to hear from you soon!
Here is a photo of our experiences in St. Louis!
At the zoo!
TALKS mentoring is a program where adults spend one hour of their week to come and mentor a group of three children at Pecan Park Elementary school. TALKS stands for Transferring a Little Knowledge Systematically. It is a curriculum based program that goes through subjects such as family, school, self-esteem, and basic life lessons. We recruit volunteers from all walks of life to come mentor a group of three to four children.
Megan Sivcovich has spent the last few months getting to know four girls through taking one hour out of her lunch break each week and investing in their lives. She has benefitted from this experience by learning how to share wisdom with these young ladies about the different situations they are going through. She says, "My favorite thing to talk about with my students is that we should all strive to have good attitudes, respond in appropriate ways to different situations, and how to go about living those things out. I have found that God has given me the opportunity to not only speak wisdom into their lives, but about God's truth as well."
When she asked her students why they wanted to sign up to have a mentor, one of her students said, "I felt that I would be able to talk to my mentor about what I need to know for life and learn to be a better person." Another student said, "I came here because I can talk about and share my feelings with my mentor and this helps me cope." Megan followed that question with what they liked best about their times together. More than one of her students answered by saying they liked answering questions she would ask them and they enjoyed talking about things they had never heard or considered before. Some things they learned from the experience included: not interrupting, being respectful, follow directions, always telling the truth, and how to be a people person.
Abigail Drozek asked her students the same questions. They answered the question, why they like TALKS, by saying, "We love coming to see Ms. Abbie." Her kids said some of the lessons they have learned through TALKS were how to have a good attitude and how to be kind to others.
KaSteesha Cosby is another mentor for TALKS. When she asked her students why they wanted to be a part of TALKS one of her students answered, "I wanted to see what it was like to have a mentor and I get to be with my friends." They had many different responses to the question about what they had learned through their time in this program. "Every girl needs a woman in her world challenging her with wisdom regarding critical issues and decisions in her life," was the answer of one of the girls. This is actually the girls' mission statement for TALKS and during her times with KaSteesha she had memorized it. They each said another lesson they learned was to work out issues through talking instead of using violence. They each would be interested in becoming a mentor later in life.
TALKS has had 15 consistent mentors this school year and our goal for next year is to have a mentor for every child who wants to be a part of TALKS. As this school year comes to a close, we pray that each student truly takes away some life lessons that they will work to apply in their lives.
April 25, 2013
This May, to celebrate a year of hard work, we are taking our kids to St. Louis! Throughout the year, we spend the majority of our after-school program focusing on homework, math, reading and writing. But now is our chance to leave the books behind for a few days, and broaden our horizons! In St. Louis we will be partnering with Chatham Bible Church to have a fun and educational visit. We will spend time at the zoo and the science museum, view the St. Louis skyline from the Gateway Arch, and attend a Cardinals baseball game.
Do you want to help our children raise the necessary funds for their trip? Then stop by the Chick-Fil-A in Clinton, MS, on Wednesday, May 1st, between 5 and 8 pm! If you mention the Perkins Center while ordering your food, a portion of your bill will go toward our end-of-year trip. We hope to see you there!
April 23, 2013
We currently have around 30 children enrolled in our after-school program, whose ages range from Kindergarten to Junior High School - and this is a great number for us! God has certainly been answering our prayers for more kids. We have recently implemented some structural changes, and we are now separating the kids by grade so as to guide them through their homework in a more ordered and targeted way. This way the tutors and volunteers can work with the same group of children each day, and they can truly begin to address the specific needs and develop the specific strengths of each child.
Our greatest need continues to be our lack of numbers and consistency in our staff and volunteers. We are blessed with some wonderful, dedicated volunteers, for whom we are constantly thankful. But there is always a need for more help! It is important to us to work harder on providing the children with stable leadership.
We continue to be struck by the talent and potential that we see in this wonderful group of children. There is so much creativity in their artwork and in their sense of humor – it is refreshing to see the world from the point of view of a child. We have a small group of girls who are very interested in poetry right now. They love to take turns reading and reciting their favorite poems, and several of them have begun writing their own! We hope to play a role in encouraging and developing these gifts and creativity.
April 11, 2013