Today I went to Franklin Elementary School to visit my Kids Hope student. This is my fourth year as a mentor. It's a wonderful program that pairs a church with an elementary school, and people in the church spend one hour a week with an at-risk child, helping them with schoolwork, reading with them, or just listening to them talk about whatever they need to talk about. My student is in second grade, and her parents just went through a divorce. This is my second year with this particular student, and we've been able to talk about what she's going through at home, as well as work through many of her academic struggles. It's rewarding at the end of the year to see the progress that's been made, and it's so fun to see a child's face light up when you walk into a classroom and they know that you're there just to see them. You can also arrange to spend extra time with them outside of school, with consent from their parents, of course. I've taken a student to one of Winn's ball games, out for ice cream, etc. Our Kids Hope director also plans many fun parties for the kids and mentors to all get together. We've gone snow-tubing, had picnics, set up a children's carnival at our church, all kinds of fun stuff. For more information about Kids Hope, here is a link to their website. I'd encourage you to get involved if there's one in your area, or become a director and start one at your church!