Youth Mentoring, Sharing Your Gifts with the Future
by Patricia Fry.
Liguori Publications, 2004 (0-7648-1015-4) $11.95
This 136-page book is for every adult who cares about kids. The African proverb, "It takes a whole village to raise a child," was never more true than it is today. Parents are overwhelmed and overstressed. Just earning a living for a family is hard enough. Add to that an obsession with a career or another self-satisfying fixation, divorce, addiction, a debilitating illness or affliction, distorted family values or an inability to prioritize and you have families with serious parenting deficits. Even in two-parent households, the most basic needs of our children aren't always being met.
Few families today have the personal support of extended family members. Neighborhood networks are unraveling. Communities lack the resources to help the families who are struggling. And our children are suffering because of it.
Children need to feel that someone cares. A young person who has a strong support system of adults or even just one significant adult in his or her life outside of his parents, is less likely to engage in destructive behavior. Kids who have positive role models will be less likely to fall into a gang or become involved in other risky situations. What can a grandparent, neighbor, teacher or friend do to help? You can become a formal or informal youth mentor.
This book is designed to assist folks who already spend time with their grandchildren or children in their neighborhood and who want additional ideas for successful mentoring. It will educate those adults who want to help but don't know how. It will provide ideas, tips and resources for people who want to become formal or informal youth mentor. And it will guide business and religious leaders and educators who wish to set up a mentoring program in their communities.
Maybe you are a caring adult who could make a difference in a child's life.
Patricia Fry is a one-to-one youth mentor through the Ojai Valley Youth Foundation. She presents writing workshops for children and she constantly practices informal mentoring within her community. In order to write this book, she drew upon her own experiences and those of others. She interviewed dozens of people from both sides of the mentoring partnership and she spent months researching the state of our children in America today as well as the numerous organizations designed to help. (See the extensive index in this book as well as 10 pages of resources for mentors/mentees).