Clayton Ridge & St. Mary's Mentor for a Day program

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From left, Sara Moser, Kari Harbaugh and Mandy Ludovissy are organizers of an innovative Mentor for a Day program. (Press photo by Caroline Rosacker)

By Caroline Rosacker

Extending a helping hand to the youth of our community is the bridge that allows our younger generation to become happy, healthy, productive adults.  

Clayton Ridge and St. Mary's Mentoring One-on-One program began in Guttenberg in March 2018. With the help of a team of dedicated individuals, this mentoring program has since taken root in our community. 

Committee members, using motivation from the "One-in-Four" concept, believe that every child needs to have four well-meaning, caring and invested adults in their lives in order to successfully navigate the world, develop a healthy sense of self, and enjoy healthy relationships in their lives. 

"So the questions we want people to ask themselves is: Am I someone's 'one-in-four?' If not you should be!" commented Kari Harbaugh of the Family Resource Center.  

New Mentor for Day program

Organizers have extended the original program to fine tune ideology to include a greater number of participants and a larger pool of volunteers. 

Harbaugh and Mandy Ludovissy, Guttenberg Chamber of Commerce director and board member of Family Helping Hands, had this to say about the Mentor for a Day program. 

"We broadened the mentoring program to include the Mentor for a Day experience in order to provide adults with the opportunity to get involved with the mentoring program for either of these reasons: 1) because of a special skill or hobby they would like to share with the kids, or 2) because they wanted to be involved, but didn't feel they had the time to commit to an on-going, one-on-one mentor pairing. Additionally, providing the mentor-for-a-day experience allows kids who want to be involved in the mentoring program but haven't yet been matched with an adult mentor (due to lack of adult volunteers), to be involved with the program through the fun and skill-building group activities," commented Harbaugh

Mentor for a Day reaches out to youth who desire direction and also facilitates a family-oriented, organized, fun event for volunteers to help out. 

The short list of activities organized through this program include: a robotics STEM activity, an event held at  Prairie Funland in Prairie du Chien, Wis., a fishing day along the Mississippi River, Garnavillo board game night, game night at Joe's Pizza, and wheel pottery and mosaics at the Guttenberg Creativity Center. 

"The events are held at different locations throughout the area to ensure community inclusion with the students and volunteers," stated Harbaugh.

Lifting exclusion from the community and inserting compassion into the lives of adolescents is the basis for the program. 

"You never know when you gather a group of individuals together where the connections are going to be made. Mentor for a Day provides the perfect opportunity to open the doors to healthy adult interaction with youth to create the bond that can provide a life-long relationship of positive well being," commented Ludovissy. 

A thorough background check is required of all adults interested in becoming a Mentor for a Day volunteer.  

Area youth interested in attending a Mentor for a Day event or those wishing to volunteer for the program may contact the Family Resource Center (563) 252-3215 or by e-mail at Claytonridgementoring@gmail.com.

Further information about the program can also be found on the program's website at Claytonridgementor.wixsite.com/crmp or you can find them on Facebook at Clayton Ridge & St. Mary's Mentoring.

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