One-on-one relationships mean some students at Thomas Elementary School in Flagstaff, Ariz., are getting much-needed attention. That’s thanks to members of Hope Community Christian Reformed Church in Flagstaff, who have become mentors through Kids Hope USA.
Dave Reynolds (right) and Jerimiah Jenson
“The teachers noted that as the year progressed and after working with a mentor, the children became more and more interactive and seemed happier in their classroom setting,” said Patricia Jasper, Hope Community’s Kids Hope director.
Kids Hope USA focuses on one-on-one relationships between student and child, not growing churches.
“Teachers’ biggest concerns are that mentors will try and teach religion,” said Dave Reynolds, pastor of Hope Community. “Hope Community Church thinks that it is a good thing to love these kids. There are no switch and baits here.” Mentors receive strict training about the boundaries of their relationship.
Eighteen members of the church are involved with six students. Each student is assigned a mentor and a prayer partner, along with substitutes.
Mentors commit to a weekly one-hour visit in the school to engage their student in learning through recreational activities and academic lessons.
Hope Community Church, with 50 members, half of whom are retired, is committed to these meaningful relationships.
Jasper also recently trained two other Flagstaff churches interested in the program. “Every elementary school has children who need someone to work with them on a one-to-one basis, someone to care and let them know they are special,” Jasper said.