Hello, our names are Celia and Julie and we oversee the Children Count Mentor Program at St. Joseph’s Indian School. The mentor program was established in 2001 to match a Lakota student with a positive adult staff member.
The goal of the program is to establish a positive relationship between adults and children, and to have a positive impact on Native American youth by actively
participating in their lives. These relationships can help children compensate for early experiences and protect them from the influences of social toxicity, negative peer groups and media violence.
Currently, we have 44 student/adult mentor matches. This year we even started some family matches so we could get more students involved. We have three family groups matched with either single staff
or married couples this year. We also have two staff members who took on the challenge of being matched with two students.
Students at St. Joseph’s are referred to the mentor program by their Family Service Counselor because they lack one-on-one contact with an adult – they may not have a family member who can check them out for an evening or weekend, or because they would benefit from a positive relationship with adults who actively participates in their lives.
The mentor committee hosts five several events throughout the school year. We tried some new events this year. This included a hockey game and trip to a corn maze as well as our main events, picnics and Christmas get together. Everyone had a great time!
In addition to these organized events, staff spend 2-6 hours per month individually with their match. Some activities that students enjoy with their mentors are going out to eat, attending local sporting events, going for walks, making cookies and doing crafts, just to name a few.
Thank you for your support of this great program!
Julie & Celia