The final Ecole Providence mentorship session of the school year took place on Monday May 28.
The mentorship program, now in its fourth year has proved a remarkable boon for the students and establishes a valuable link between the school and the community.
For the last session, the women showed the kids how to make aprons and held a colouring contest with all participating kids winning a Loonie.
The program invites adults in the community to teach crafts, read and offer a variety of other activities, while providing some one-on-one time and in the process the kids learn new skills in a focused but informal, cooperative and social environment.
The mentorship program was first organized at the beginning of the 2014 – 2015 school year, when Ecole Providence principle Krista Veitch reached out to the community for donations and volunteers to help establish the school’s breakfast program.
During a visit to the Catholic Women’s League, which resulted in a conversation about the community’s obligation to support the community school, the idea for the Ecole Providence mentorship program was decided upon and quickly implemented.
Many of the volunteers are retired and very happy to lend a hand and contribute to the wellbeing and education of the children, and find it gratifying to see positive personal growth in the students.
Those who are still working organize their schedule around the Monday program so they can also contribute.
From the beginning, the response from the kids was positive and the value of the program immediately evident.
“Over the past four years the results with each group of kids has been consistently positive.
“They have all responded well to this program and that is entirely due to the care and imagination that the volunteers bring to the program,” says Veitch. “The women involved really care about the kids and the kids know that.”
At the end of the final session of the year, one of the mentoring program volunteers called the local ice cream truck and treated not just the kids in the program but all the Providence students to an ice cream cone.