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HowardCenter's Community Friends Mentoring has a mission to enhance & support the lives of children through positive one-to-one mentoring friendships with adult volunteers.
Community Friends Mentoring matches caring adult volunteers with children ages 6-12 who would benefit from extra support and attention in their life. This community-based program currently serves over 90 young people from across Chittenden County. Mentoring pairs are carefully matched based on interests, geography, temperament, etc. They meet on a regular basis (usually once a week) to explore a wide variety of fun, healthy activities, such as biking, board games, cooking, and local events. While each Community Friends pair plans their own schedule and outings, matches are similar in that the goal is a consistent, caring relationship that will support a child as they grow. Mentors and families are asked to make a minimum one-year commitment.
Community Friends Mentors receive training, on-going support, and recreational opportunities. Application, 3 references, interview and background check required. 5 hour training course, quarterly in-service meetings and about 2-4 hours per week with the child are expected.
The main requirement for a mentor is a sense of enthusiasm for volunteering with children in an enjoyable, healthy manner. Previous experience with children is helpful, but not required. Our goal is to make sure that the program is a good fit for both the volunteer and the child, to insure a positive, rewarding experience for everyone.