Kiwanis to discuss Norwalk Mentor Program

The Kiwanis Club of Weston will welcome Nancy Pratt, director of the Norwalk Mentor Program at The Human Services on Saturday, Jan. 16, at Norfield Parish Hall.

Pratt will describe this school-based program, which is the first of its kind in the United States, and celebrating its 30th anniversary on Jan. 13, at the Norwalk Inn.

Saturday’s meeting begins at 8:30 a.m. Breakfast will be served and members of the public are welcome.

Established in 1986, the Norwalk Mentor Program, a program of the Human Services Council in partnership with Norwalk Public Schools, was the first school-based mentoring program in the country. The program’s original premise remains constant today — that matching students with positive adult role models can make a significant difference in the lives of those students served.

The Norwalk Mentor Program coordinates a structured one-on-one relationship between a student and an adult volunteer.

This unique approach provides participants in grades K-12 with an adult who can meet them for approximately one hour per week during the school year and engage in academic and/or social activities conducive to the school setting.

By sharing fun activities and exposing youth to new experiences, a mentor encourages positive choices, promotes high self-esteem, supports academic achievement, and introduces the mentee to new ideas. Mentors act as friends and role models and spend each week having fun with their mentees — playing catch, reading a book, shooting some hoops, creating an arts and crafts project, or just talking.

The Kiwanis Club of Weston sponsors a variety of programs and events to raise money for local organizations. The club’s membership is open to all men and women residing or working in the area. For more information, visit westonkiwanis.org.

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