08 July, 2011
Mentoring Activities for Youth
According to Charity Guide, kids who engage in positive activities with a mentor are less likely to use drugs, begin using alcohol or skip school. Mentors make a difference in the lives of children by providing them with a healthful relationship with an adult. Mentors can spend time with children in a group environment or alone with one child. Because mentoring takes place in the context of regularly scheduled activities and events, mentors and mentoring programs are always on the lookout for mentoring activity ideas.
A community service project can be performed by a mentor and a youth or by a group. Mentoring participants can clean up a stream, stock cans at a food bank or plant a school garden. They can visit an after-school program and tutor younger children. Community volunteer matching organizations can help find services opportunities or adults can call schools or senior centers and ask how their group can help. Hands On Network, a national volunteer organization, can help find service opportunities in communities throughout the country.
Mentors often provide guidance to youth who need help setting goals and understanding how goals are achieved. A mentoring activity can include a day focused on the youth's career choice. Visit businesses and educational institutions, and set up a meeting for the youth to talk with someone in his chosen career field. Career-focused mentoring can help young people understand how to achieve their goals.
Take a Class
Free classes can provide instruction in life skills for young people. A free cooking class can be a fun way to learn how to prepare a meal. A class on journal writing can help a teen learn about self-expression. Community colleges and community organizations often have free classes or a mentoring program can invite an instructor to present a class to a group of mentors and youths.
Youths as Teachers
A mentoring activity is a good time to encourage young people to share their skills. Whether the youth is skilled in basketball or skateboarding or knowledgeable about dinosaurs or the constellations, arrange an activity for the youth to teach the mentor what he knows or show off her skills.
The To-Do List
Some young people have limited opportunities to attend sporting or cultural events. They might want to tour a museum, visit a farm or ride a horse. Youths can have a list of activities they would like to do if they had the opportunity. Mentors can make to-do lists with the youths they are mentoring and help them see more of the world.
Lessons in Life
For mentoring groups that meet regularly, invite professionals to come talk to youths about life skills. Have a banking professional talk about credit and money management. Have a nurse talk about health issues and invite a college recruiter to talk about admissions processes. Design the activities to serve as fun and interactive mini-workshops.
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