We’ve mentioned before, kids who engage in positive mentoring activities are less likely to use drugs, begin using alcohol or skip school. Mentors make a difference in the lives of children by providing them with a healthy relationship with an adult.
Mentors can spend time with children in a group environment or alone with one child. Because mentoring takes place in the context of regularly scheduled activities and events, mentors and mentoring programs are always on the lookout for mentoring activities.
A community service project might be one of the best mentoring activities we can think of. Mentoring participants can help assist in a river or lake cleanup project, stock cans at a food bank or plant a community garden. They can visit an after-school program and tutor younger children. Community volunteer matching organizations can help find services opportunities, or adults can call schools or senior centers and ask how their group can help.
Mentors often provide guidance to youth who need help setting goals and understanding how goals are achieved. Mentoring activities can include a day focused on the youth's career choice. Visit businesses and educational institutions, and set up a meeting for the youth to talk with someone in his chosen career field. Career-focused mentoring can help young people understand how to achieve their goals.
Free classes can provide fun and informative instructions on basic life skills. A free cooking class can be a fun way to learn how to prepare a meal. A class on journal writing can help a teen learn about self-expression. Community colleges and community organizations often have free classes or a mentoring program can invite an instructor to present a class to a group of mentors and youths.
A mentoring activity is a good time to encourage young people to share their skills. Participate in some role reversal and let the mentor become the mentee. Whether your mentee is skilled in basketball, skateboarding, knowledgeable about dinosaurs or the constellations, arrange an activity for the youth to teach the mentor what he or she knows and allow them the opportunity to show off their skills.
Some young people have limited opportunities to attend sporting or cultural events. They might want to tour a museum, visit a farm or ride a horse. Youths can have a list of activities they would like to do if the opportunity were to present itself. Mentors can make to-do lists with the youths they are mentoring to help them see more of the world.
For mentoring groups that meet regularly, invite professionals to come talk to youths about life skills. Have a banking professional talk about credit and money management. Have a nurse talk about health issues and invite a college recruiter to talk about admissions processes. Design the activities to serve as fun and interactive mini-workshops.
DREAM, one of the Midwest’s well-known youth mentoring organizations, provides life-changing and life-enriching experiences to at-risk youth through mentoring and after-school programs in Omaha, Nebraska, and Springfield, Missouri. Their proven approach puts children in a comfortable setting where they’re encouraged to discuss openly, learn, and grow as individuals. Are you interested in getting involved with DREAM? Contact us today.