THE Kids Hope program was started in 2009 by the school chaplain at Irrawang Public School, who felt that a number of students would benefit from one-to-one mentoring for various reasons.
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Kids Hope was implemented to fill that need.
The program is still going strong nine years later, with 13 current mentors/mentees and one substitute mentor.
With funding by Raymond Terrace Community Church (RTCC), the Program is coordinated by Michelle Bryan and run with Volunteers from RTCC.
Children are selected by the Principal and teachers, and each child meets with their mentor for one hour each week at an allocated time.
The community mentor provides support, encouragement and guidance as needed, and all activities are based on the student’s interests.
Charlie Price, a student in the program, first met Mrs Betty Lodge four years ago when she was in yr 1, and over the years Betty and Charlie say they have made a great friendship.
Charlie said, “Mrs Lodge is nice & kind and I like everything about seeing her each week.”
“We always talk and do activities together.”
Charlie’s mother Tracey Walther said, “Charlie has always enjoyed Mrs Lodge’s company and is always telling me what she has done with Betty.”
“It’s a great program.”
Parents, students, mentors and teachers alike value the program for the work it does within the school, and the ties it further strengthens with the community.