Elementary schools across the country are requesting KIDS HOPE USA programs because they know how much these mentoring relationships make a difference in the lives of their children. KIDS HOPE USA church-school partnerships provide a proven intervention for at-risk kids, resulting in significant changes in attitude and behavior as well as academic performance, at no cost to the school. Teachers and principals recognize that what the children receive from individual attention outside the class equals or exceeds what they would receive in the classroom.
Teachers, principals and social workers are asked to refer children—generally those whose emotional, social and academic needs are not currently being met—who could benefit from a relationship with a caring adult. Many of these children live in unstable environments and receive too little nurture. Abuse, neglect, divorce, poverty, drugs or other problems may contribute to the child's needs, but that is not necessarily the case. One principal described the children as "emotional checkbooks who are completely overdrawn. They need someone to deposit love in their lives."
KIDS HOPE USA mentors are recruited, screened, trained and supervised by a church Director, who serves as the school's primary point of contact. The Director is responsible for presenting the program to the faculty and providing an orientation for teachers whose children will be mentored. Schools find that the Director and the mentors are faithful, attentive and genuinely love the children they serve. And school can rest assured that the separation of church and state will be appropriately honored.
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