Written By: John DeRousie / Custom Marketing Solutions
FULTON, NY: The honorary head pin for Oswego County Opportunities’ upcoming Bowl-A-Fun, the Pink Guardian Angel, enjoyed a fun, learning experience when it visited Granby Elementary School to participate in the Fulton Mentoring Program.
Made possible through a collaboration between OCO, the Fulton Community Task Force, Catholic Charities of Oswego County and the Fulton School District, the Fulton School Mentoring Program matches adult mentors with Fulton youth ages 8-15.
Mentors and youth are matched based on their mutual likes and dislikes as well as the skills the mentor can offer.
The program currently serves students at Fairgrieve, Volney and Granby elementary schools as well as the Fulton Junior High School.
Mentors spend one hour of quality time each week with their student; it’s an hour that proves to be mutually rewarding.
Mentor Terri Richardson explains, “When Lois Luber of the United Way of Greater Oswego County told me about this program I thought it was a perfect fit as I was looking to volunteer for a project related to children. I really wanted to give back to my community and if I could make a difference in a child’s life by spending time him or her, I was in. I never would have guessed that just one hour a week would make a difference in a child’s life, but it does. I was a little nervous the first time I met with my mentee. All these questions popped up – What are we going to do for a whole hour? What are we going to talk about? Is he going to like me? Now, the hour flies by and we always have something to talk about together and we always have some activity that we can do. I look forward to meeting with my mentee each week. Why did I get involved? It truly is very simple: I just wanted to make a difference.”
According to program volunteer manager Carol Ireland, youth who have been in a mentoring relationship for an extended period of time often see improvements in attendance, discipline and academic areas in school.
“The mentoring program is a tremendous benefit to the students as it builds self esteem and helps improve their social skills, academic skills, relationship building, and much more,” she said. “The students enjoy the program and look forward to meeting with their mentor each week.”
Ireland added that those who would like to be a mentor or refer a student should contact her at 402-2093.
Just one hour a week makes a difference!
The Fulton School Mentoring Program is fully funded by a DJCS grant.
The Pink Guardian Angel is visiting various OCO sites throughout Oswego County as it reminds community members about OCO’s 10th annual Bowl-A-Fun and the announcement of the winner of the Golden Opportunities raffle that will take place on April 2 at Lakeview Lanes in Fulton.
OCO is a private, non-profit agency that has been supporting communities throughout Oswego County since 1966.
As OCO celebrates its 45th anniversary it continues to improve the quality of life in Oswego County by touching the lives of more than 28,000 people each year.
A member agency of the United Way, OCO provides more than 50 vital services throughout 80 separate locations.
For more information, visit www.oco.org