Working With Children and Youth

working with children and youthIf you enjoy interacting with children, MOVE has opportunities for you. Whether helping with homework, playing games, hanging out with teenagers on a Friday night, or wanting to spend time with one child one-on-one over a longer period of time (all of our mentoring programs require a commitment of at least one year with the ideal being three or four years), the variety of programming allows you to decide what moves you the most and where you’ll be best able to make a difference.

After School Games

The mission of After School Games is to build healthy and constructive relationships with young students; inspire them to reach their goals and continue their education; and validate each child as an individual. It is also our goal to be consistent role models whom the children can rely on and trust within a school setting.

Volunteers who participate in the After School Games program can help out as often as twice a week at the local Boys & Girls Club of Burlington. Volunteers assist the staff in a variety of activities at the club, including playing games with the children, helping out with arts and crafts projects, or working on the computers. Students wishing to be involved with After School Games are encouraged to commit a certain number of weeks; this helps build stronger positive relationships between college volunteers and children in the community.

For more information about the Saint Michael's College volunteer program dealing with After School Games, contact Caitlin '15 at cbalicki@mail.smcvt.edu.

DREAM

The mission of DREAM is to build communities of families and college students that support children from disadvantaged circumstances to recognize opportunities, make informed decisions, and realize their dreams.

Founded in 1999 by Dartmouth College students, DREAM is a non-profit mentoring program that pairs college students and children living in affordable housing developments in Vermont. DREAM stands for Directing through Recreation, Education, Adventure and Mentoring.

It is the program's hope to form and develop genuine connections between students, Franklin Square children, parents, and the greater Burlington community. Through this relationship we seek to empower our mentees through the belief in the power of a loving and understanding committed relationship. Through this connection we DREAM of making a lasting difference in the lives of all touched by the program.

DREAM started at Saint Michael's in 2003 and has grown annually. There are currently 40 mentors in the program, each assigned to one child for the duration of their college career. The DREAM coordinators plan the weekly activity and volunteers pick up the participating children from Burlington's North End for a fun Friday afternoon. The activity changes weekly. DREAM facilitates activities such as arts and crafts, sports, apple picking, visits to the Saint Michael’s fire station and rescue station and much, much more.

There are also special events throughout the academic year, including a winter adventure camp and the end of the year trip. Last year, Saint Michael’s students and DREAM children went to Salem and Boston Massachusetts.

This program was awarded the Governor's Award for outstanding community service.

For more information about the Saint Michael's College volunteer program working with DREAM, contact Kelsey Ryan '16 at kryan6@mail.smcvt.edu

Family Friends

It is the mission of Family Friends to provide support to COTS Family Shelters through childcare and mentoring of children while forming relationships with those we work with in a mutually beneficial way. Family Friends also hopes to bring a broader understanding of homelessness through education and awareness to the surrounding community.

Family Friends is a MOVE program that places student volunteers in a local COTS family shelter. Volunteers engage in activities and provide companionship for children of many ages temporarily housed in the shelter with their families. Family Friends visits the shelter several times a week and often takes the children on local field trips. This program can be a one-time volunteer activity or allow for a greater commitment.

For more information about the Saint Michael's College volunteer program working with Family Friends, contact Kerri Abbott '15 at kabbott4@mail.smcvt.edu

International Outreach Mentoring

Through the commitment and volunteerism of Saint Michael's students, we work with the local school to provide mentoring relationships to young local refugees, and provide opportunities for character and intellectual growth.

This MOVE program began by promoting integration between Saint Michael's students and international students on campus. While this is still part of our efforts, a new project, "New American Mentoring" began in Fall 2007 and continues to pair Saint Michael's students with local New American youth in the Winooski School System for a three-hour/week commitment consisting of both one-on-one mentoring matches and group activities.

To find out more information or great ways to get involved with the Saint Michael's College volunteer program International Outreach, contact Peter '16 at pkeefe2@mail.smcvt.edu.

Little Brother/Little Sister

The mission of Little Brother/Little Sister is for youth in the Winooski area to have an additional positive role model in their life and to have consistency in what can be an unstable childhood. By matching Littles with a Big for three to four years, we hope that they will be able to build a strong relationship based on fun, trust, and reliability.

Little Brother/Little Sister (LBLS) is a collaborative mentoring program between the Winooski community and Saint Michael’s College. The program consists of 30-40 Saint Michael’s students (Bigs) and 30-40 students from the local Winooski area (Littles). It is a three-to-four-year program. This ensures the Bigs to have the ability to develop valuable relationships with their Little until graduation and ideally, after. (There is no conflict for Bigs interested in study-abroad, LBLS coordinators will work with you to find a suitable replacement mentor for the semester.)

The children are in first through third grade at John F. Kennedy Elementary School in Winooski, Vermont. They are nominated by their parents, teachers or guidance counselors to participate in this program. Then, program coordinators match the Littles with Bigs. Bigs are selected for the program after going through a written application and interview process.

This program involves a three-hour-per-week commitment in which the Big brings the Little to campus to play in the gym, read in the library, play games, and eat in the cafeteria on a one-on-one basis or in small groups. Transportation is provided.

Throughout the year, various events are planned to bring the entire program together for trick-or-treating, a holiday party, and an end-of-the-year mentor/mentee celebration. In addition, small group trips are planned off campus, including bowling.

Applications for the LBLS program are available every year in September. If you are interested in this program contact Haley Lebel-Stephen '16 at hlebelstephe@mail.smcvt.edu

Middle School Mentor Program

The mission of Middle School Mentors is to provide a positive and safe environment for middle school aged girls. MSM hopes to establish positive relationships between mentors and their mentees through both individual and group gatherings.

The Middle School Mentor program is a program in which volunteers build healthy relationships as mentors with middle school girls in neighboring Winooski, Vermont. Volunteers are role models to these girls and work one-on-one, as well as in groups with the girls. Activities include art projects, mini-golf trips, general games and special events through the year.

Volunteers must be female to participate in this program, and usually commit to a full year of service, once a week. The relationships volunteers provide are greatly appreciated and their positive effect on these girls is clearly visible.

For more information about the Saint Michael's College volunteer program, Middle School Mentors, contact Amber '16 at aemmell@mail.smcvt.edu.

Refugee ReachOut

It is the mission of Refugee ReachOut to help New Americans learn, grow, and meet every goal to become successful, determined, and engaged students of JFK Elementary School and Winooski Middle School. As volunteers, we will strive to find new and exciting ways to help students with their homework, while also increasing our knowledge about the lives of each of our students. As a program, we will work to foster an ever-increasing knowledge and awareness of New Americans in Vermont and multi-cultural diversity on the campus of Saint Michael's College.

Volunteer at a local elementary and middle school during homework club hours, which is designed to give refugee and international students additional assistance and one-on-one attention on their assignments.

Want to get involved? For more information about International Outreach Homework Club, contact Christine '15 at cpeloquin@mail.smcvt.edu.

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