FULTON, NY â€“ Catholic Charities of Oswego Countyâ€™s CYO Mentoring Program received some much-needed support recently when Entergyâ€™s Share Committee presented the agency with donation to help fund the program.
Designed specifically for the development and enhancement of healthy social skills and to improve the participantsâ€™ academic skills, the program matches elementary school children with high school students and provides them with peer support and a positive role model.
Students meet weekly throughout the school year and spend time together in a variety of ways including tutoring, games, activities and outings.
Mentors provide friendship, guidance, and support through one on one time and group activities.
Staff or AmeriCorps workers of the CYO Mentoring Program supervise all sessions.
The program currently serves students in the Fulton, Phoenix and Sandy Creek school districts.
Fulton students meet at the CYO, while students in Phoenix and Sandy Creek meet at their schools weekly where they are able to spend some productive, quality time together.
Program coordinator Ken Dennison, describes the program as a community program that helps the students gain a sense of commitment and responsibility.
â€œThe students in the CYO Mentoring Program learn the importance of developing healthy relationships with others and gain a better sense of self-esteem. They also develop the positive quality of sharing themselves to help others. It has proven to be an effective program that the students enjoy being involved with. They truly care and are happy to know that they are making a difference in a young personâ€™s life,â€ he said.
Entergy Share Committee member and administrative services superintendent with Entergy, James Feeney added that Entergy is proud to be a partner with Catholic Charities of Oswego County in the mentoring program.
â€œEntergy is again proud this year to partner with the CYO Mentoring Program and support the worthwhile programs that are offered to the children. Two of our focus areas are education and healthy families and this program certainly exemplifies these two initiatives. The children are provided with a safe environment after school and the staff and volunteers in the CYO Mentoring Program provide assistance and tutoring to the children which help to make them better students and provides them with positive role models. I personally know several recently graduated high school students who were mentors and the program has certainly made an impact on their lives as well as the children who they mentored. This program is a positive impact on the community as well as on the children and Entergy is proud to be part of it,â€ he said.
Established by Catholic Charities in 1996 as the Amigo Mentoring Project, the program has helped hundreds of students throughout our community.
However, a number of recent budget cuts had posed a serious threat to the continuance of the program.
â€œWe at Catholic Charities of Oswego County are extremely grateful for the support we receive from Entergy. They have been a long time supporter of our mentoring program. In an era of declining human service budgets, Entergyâ€™s thoughtful contribution is more important than ever. Entergyâ€™s desire to support the children and families in our community is most evident through their generous donation. Many children will benefit from Entergyâ€™s commitment to the CYO Mentoring Program,â€ added Dennison.
For more information, call Dennison at 598-3980.