Central Coast kids mentoring success in 2022
In 2022, our SHINE for Kids school Mentoring Program was launched on the Central Coast to support local kids facing the hardship of having a parent in custody.
Our team has been incredibly busy throughout the year, raising awareness of our program, making community connections and taking referrals, and it wasn’t long until we had a cohort of kids receiving much need extra support at school.
It’s been a wonderful start to the program!
Mentor Lauren is very proud of everything the kids have achieved this year. They have all shown gains in confidence, improved attitude towards learning, and feel connected and part of a supportive network.
Thanks to local schools and the Central Coast education community, we have an ever-growing list of families wanting to access the program and look forward to another big year in 2023!
Here are just a few of the highlights from 2022….
Support at School
We’re so proud of the commitment our kids have shown to their academic studies this year.
We’ve seen their attitude to learning improve month by month, and mentor Lauren is supporting the kids to practice their writing and numeracy to build their confidence in class.
Support getting ready for High School
High School is a big milestone for any year 6 student, and often kids feel a little unsure, anxious and overwhelmed.
Lauren helped make the day a bit less daunting and much more exciting by being there to support two of her wonderful kids from different local primary schools at their High School Transition Day.
She said it was a great day and was also a wonderful chance to meet more members of the local education community!
Confidence growing with counting fun!
Monopoly is not only fun but also educational!
The board game has been used in sessions this year on the Central Coast to encourage confidence with counting, reading and understanding instructions, following rules, managing emotions and building interpersonal skills.
One of our little mentoring boys has been so taken with the game that one week he brought in his own Fortnight version and led the session!
The child-led session made our mentor incredibly proud! She said it was wonderful to see his enthusiasm and his confidence to “take the lead and ownership [of the session] and explore how to explain and teach [the game]. I value this so much!”
Learning about the importance of friendships
Focussing on building strong and positive friendships is always important for our kids.
Often they have experienced anxiety related to being moved to different schools and homes and the stigma of having a parent in custody, and find making new or positive friendships difficult.
This year we have been using activities to look at what goes into creating positive friendships, how to maintain them, and why they are so important.
One way we do this is through books! Frank* really responded to the Aaron Blabey ‘Pig the Pug’ series and enjoyed discussing how Pig was not a team player and how he could have done things a little differently to get a better outcome.
When a child shows particular interest in a character or activity, it’s a great opportunity to incorporate further learning into the sessions as mentor Lauren has done in this case, using Pig as the basis for practice with writing, reading and comprehension!
The group came together for an end-of-year Christmas picnic full of games, fun and laughter. The lolly jar guessing competition was a hit!
It was a great chance to reflect on the progress all the kids have made and build connections and friendships, so kids know they aren’t alone in what they are going through.
Celebrating milestones when mum or dad can’t
Sometimes it’s the small things that really make an impact on our kids’ lives.
Birthdays are really hard for kids missing their mum or dad in custody and so having us on hand to wish them a magical day and support them to know they are not alone and their parent is thinking of them can make all the difference.
Mentor Lauren has shared in celebrating many birthdays this year, here with her little friend celebrating turning 6!
Farewell from the Central Coast!
We can’t wait for another big year in 2023.
Please Donate Today so kids with a parent in custody can get the support they need at school.