FRIENDS PROGRAM OF KEARNEY
A mentoring program that promotes personal development of elementary students through positive one-on-one mentoring.
One Child One Mentor One Hour One Impact!
BE THE ONE!
The Friends Program of Kearney has been helping change children’s lives through positive one-on-one role modeling for over 30 years.
Friends is a supervised volunteer program designed to provide a close adult relationship for children identified as having special relationship needs by his/her elementary counselor and teachers.
UNK students, high school students, or community adults (Big Friends) are matched with elementary-age children (Little Friends) and they become FRIENDS for at least one school year. The Big Friend and Little Friend designate at least one hour a week for a one-on-one commitment. Activities might include going to the YMCA, KidZone, park, library, playing board games, taking walks or simply listening to each other talk about their daily events.
The Friends Program has reported successes such as, the Big Friend being the most influential person in the child’s life, improved grades, reduced anger and the ability to socialize better with other children at school. More specifically, some of the Little Friends reported that they learned how to swim, play basketball, draw like an artist, how to throw a football on the run, right from wrong, to think before they act out, and to be nice to everyone.
Many of the adult mentors in the Friends Program attend the University of Nebraska-Kearney(UNK). They too have reported benefits from their participation in the Friends Program. These benefits included, reinforcing the need to make good choices and being grateful for the skills and support that they received as a child. These student also reported gaining valuable skills about interacting with children and communicating with other adults, which will help in their future careers.
A verified US-registered nonprofit