What is Kids Hope USA?
In the spring of 2014, we felt the Lord pulling us in a new direction with our partnership at PH Miller. After getting to know some of the students, it became apparent that we needed to make ourselves available to make a bigger impact on their lives. Through research and answered prayer, we stumbled upon KIDS HOPE USA. This seemed like the natural next step in our partnership with PH Miller, and we eagerly proceeded. What exactly is KIDS HOPE USA?
KIDS HOPE USA is a nationwide, school-based mentoring program that focuses on elementary-age children. KIDS HOPE USA mentors use a weekly one hour session to build a relationship focused on the child’s emotional, social and academic needs. The result: Changes in attitude, behavior, and academic performance. One child, one hour is the heart of KIDS HOPE USA. One caring adult mentoring a child for one hour every week can result in huge impact. Because when kids feel like they belong, they are better able to learn, grow, and succeed.
We felt passionate about taking this new ministry on for many reasons. There are growing numbers of students whose emotional and social needs eclipse their ability and motivation to learn. Having a consistent mentor come alongside them at a time in their young lives when values are formed, self-esteem is developed, and basic academic skills must be acquired can help children become better learners.
What makes KIDS HOPE USA distinctive?
Respects church-state separation
Mentors are trained to abide by the rules of the host organization. No religious activity of any kind will take place on school property.
Mentors are trained to work with elementary students. They meet with the same student every week at the school for an hour.
In addition to working with the students on social and academic skills, they act as a positive role model and friend who could give a struggling student a positive experience.
One of the beautiful things about this program is that mentors remain with the same student each year, building a stronger and stronger bond. This means that the program which started at PH Miller, has now spread to Centennial Elementary and Emily G. Johns School. While mentors and their kids gain so much from this relationship, teachers are also reaping the benefits. The following is a personal testimony from a Plano teacher: I cannot say enough about what a positive impact Kids Hope USA has had on my students. This year, I have six students that are participating in the program. The one-on-one interaction that they get with their mentors each week is absolutely priceless. The short amount of time that they spend with their mentors each week has such a significant impact on each student. Each week, I see my students beam with happiness when his/her mentor comes to the classroom door to get them. Each time they return to class after the mentoring session, they exhibit such happiness as well as increased confidence. Recently, we had a day at school where students dressed up as someone that they admire. Two of my students came and said they were dressed as his/her mentor... this was incredibly touching. The impact that I have seen truly makes my heart melt. Thank you to all the mentors that have participated in the program!! Your love and commitment to the students is invaluable!!
We are thrilled to be a part of this incredible organization, and look forward to hearing more stories like this testimony, in both our mentors and mentees. If you would like to learn more about KHUSA, please visit Kidshopeusa.org
If you would like to become a mentor, please contact one of our co-directors, Don Fruland or Deanne Henle.