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Calling all mentors

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Elwick Lighthouses Boyz and Girlz Club is in the midst of major revamp to its programming and club officials are hoping a new crew of mentors will step up to help them out.

Matthew Darragh, who took on the job of program co-ordinator about a month ago, said club representatives are seeking public input to help determine what kind of programming is needed in the area.

"We’re looking to do a lot of physical activity stuff, and also arts and crafts. I haven’t met all the kids yet, so when I do that we’ll get their input," Darragh said.

"(There will be) a lot of in-gym activities, because I know gym credits are a problem for kids who are going into high school, so get them comfortable with the gym. Then find out what their interests are, and help them pursue them."

Representatives of the club, which is based out of The Village Centre at 1417 Fife St., have put out the call for new volunteer youth mentors to help with the club’s slate of kids programming.
Volunteers will be asked to provide one or two hours of their time each week to work with local kids. The program is offered twice a week, with one session for boys and another for girls.

Although there is no formal registration process for the program, an estimated 20 kids attend each night.

"They’re going to be there to act as role models for the youth," Darragh said.

"I’m also looking for university-aged role models so there’s someone the students can strive to be like. There’ll be a lot of one-on-one or group activities, to show them what it is to be a good community member and a good, positive person."

Darragh said he decided to take on the job because he enjoys working with kids.

"I’ve also worked in this community for a couple of years with another kids program, so I thought it was a good fit," he said.

Darragh said he would like to see Elwick’s current drop-in style evolve and have kids get more involved in regularly scheduled programming.

"We want you to be there every week," he said.

Darragh said mentoring can be a rewarding experience for volunteers and is hoping more people become involved in the program.

"I’ve been working with kids for years, and when I started working in this community, I didn’t realize how attached you grow to the community and the kids," he said.

"It’s definitely something that will help fulfill you in a way you didn’t know was possible before."

Anyone interested in volunteering as a youth mentor can email lighthousesbgc@gmail.com.

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