Partner schools have opened their doors for Centers staff to continue in-school mentoring this year. We are currently working in 3 schools: Gary Elementary, Eli Whitney Elementary and Brian Piccolo Elementary. Keep reading to see what God is doing at each location!
At first, the students at Gary showed reluctance to share, open up and interact with New Life Centers mentors. Our mentors have been leading activities where sharing can be normalized and/or anonymous so they won’t feel ashamed or embarrassed. It has taken time but there has been an improvement in the students openness during group! NLC mentors are planning to take them out on a group field trip during a nonattendance school day to continue to strengthen the camaraderie within the group.
Eli Whitney Elementary
This school year is the first time that Centers has conducted in-school mentoring at Eli Whitney. We are very grateful that the school personnel have opened their doors to us so that we can connect with the students. The youth really enjoy the group sessions which gives them a safe space to process through what they are currently going through. One youth in particular used to be very reserved but has grown in his confidence and now initiates conversation and volunteers to take part in the group activities.
Brian Piccolo Elementary
At Piccolo this year, we are focusing on how the students can apply what they are learning in the classroom and become peer mentors to the younger students in the school. NLC mentors are continuing to build relationships with the youth so they can learn who they are in a setting that is judgement free. They facilitate conversations that allow the students to voice their concerns about life issues that affect their communities and influence their school. A recent goal that mentors had for the youth was to help them understand the meaning behind Christmas and experience the gift of giving. As a response to this teaching, the students chose to bless three families that attend their school that were in need for Christmas. They planned gift ideas, shopped for the families, wrapped the gifts and gave the gifts to the families before Christmas break. The youth shared that this project made them feel good knowing that they were able to bless someone who they knew probably would not have received any gifts.