What is the purpose of this program?
At KidStart we know from years of experience that everyone can benefit from a mentor. We welcome any and all kids without qualification.
The purpose of the program is to expose young people to the benefits of a positive and supportive relationship with a caring adult mentor. Through this relationship young people can engage in one to one activities that are fun and provide an opportunity to make community connections.
The role of the mentor is to develop a supportive relationship, be a consistent role model and encourage participation in recreational activities that provide opportunities to experience success and achievement.
Is there a cost involved?
No. KidStart mentors are encouraged to use facilities and recreational programs that are free or very inexpensive. Any contributions parents/guardians are able to make toward the cost of the outing may be helpful, but are not required.
Who makes arrangements for an outing?
The mentor will arrange a time that is good for everyone. They will pick up the young person and drop him or her off at their home.
What will they do while together?
Activities might include bike riding, swimming, walks/hikes, tennis, visits to local attractions, crafts, movies, reading, library visits, a sporting event or any other activity friends typically do together. We encourage mentors to look for activities that interest both, with the goal of inspiring the young person and providing natural opportunities for learning.
How equipped are mentors to be with a young person?
Mentors are screened thoroughly and interviewed by experienced staff. They must provide three references, have two interviews and a police record check. We also offer First Aid and CPR training to our mentors. They participate in regular training and have monthly meetings with KidStart staff, who are always available for support.
What is my role as a parent/guardian?
The mentor will meet with you to discuss the program and answer any questions. You will be asked to provide some information and sign a consent form.
Is KidStart counseling?
No. This program is not counseling or social work. This is about the young person spending some recreational time with an adult mentor from outside their immediate circle.