Project Friend: Seeking both Mentors (grades 7 – adults) and Friends in need of mentoring (K-12)

by beth on September 14, 2017

Above: Last year, SYFS worked with Southborough Access Media to create a promotional video for their Project Friend program. Check it out.

Southborough Youth and Family Services is preparing for another season of Project Friend. This year, they are expanding mentors to include adults aged 18+. And they are expanding the age group of those who can use mentoring. It now extends through high school.

The program pairs younger and older “Friends” to help build positive meaningful relationships.* In weekly meetings, friends talk and enjoy games, crafts or other activities.

Organizers are encouraging applicants for mentors and for being mentored. Matches are based on expressed interests, personality, and gender.

They are seeking volunteers grades 7-12 and adults who want to be positive role models. (For students, the program allows them to fulfill community service hours.)

They are also seeking families with K- 12th graders who would benefit from some special attention, a mentor, and positive role model.

There are choices of half year or full year commitments (Nov to mid-Feb or late May. For the schedule details, click on the image below right.) SYFS describes the program and groupings:

SYFS Project Friend

(click to enlarge)

Group A [K-1st grade Younger Friends with 7th- 8th grade Older Friends] This group utilizes recreational activities to facilitate relationship building between the pairs. “Older friends” will learn social and conversation skills that will help them to build a relationship with a younger child and benefit them in relationships with their peers. The “younger friends” will benefit from the special undivided attention of their “older friend,” a positive role model assigned just for them. Mentors must attend an orientation luncheon at Trottier. Details to be announced.

Group B [2nd-5th grade Younger Friends with 9th- 12th grade Older Friends] This group offers “older friends” more training that focuses working with kids, being a mentor for the “younger friends,” and building up youth assets. The “younger friend” benefits from the relationship with a skilled positive role model and the opportunity to interact with their same age peers with that support present. Mentors are selected through an application and interview process and must attend a training on November 1st in the later afternoon or evening.

Group C [6th-8th grade Younger Friends with adult Older Friends]This group has a community service focus where pairs work together to give back to the Southborough by working on service projects. Service projects proposed for this year include activities such as baking for the local food pantries, assembling care packages for individuals and families in shelters, wrapping gifts for a holiday giving program, and more. Training is provided for the “older friend” on developmental relationships and building up youth assets. “Younger friends” participating in this group gain experience doing community service while developing a relationship with a skilled mentor. Mentors must undergo a CORI check, are selected through an interview process and must attend a training on November 1st in the later afternoon or evening.

Anyone interested in either the full year or fall program should register by September 29th. To sign up or learn more, contact Meaghan McCarthy at 508-481-5676 x 3 or mmccarthy@southboroughma.com.

*(It looks like they’ve dropped “Big” and “Little” Friends from their lingo. Since older adolescents and teens may balk at being called a “Little Friend”, that makes sense.)

Updated (9/19/17 8:58 am): I forgot to include the registration form. Use the registration codes from the Project Friend schedule in the story above. You can also use the same form to sign kids up for SYFS’ Stress Management Classes. For details on that, see SYFS’ full program guide.

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