Wednesday, January 21, 2009
Governor Kathleen Sebelius and Coach Bill Snyder, leaders of the Kansas Mentors program, encouraged all Kansans today to participate in National Thank a Mentor Day this Thursday, January 22 by taking a moment to recognize those individuals who have made an impact.
Kansans are also encouraged to sign up to mentor with their local mentoring programs. To view a statewide directory of programs, visit the Kansas Mentors website at www.kansasmentors.org.
"Mentoring positively impacts children in communities across the state," Sebelius said. "Children need responsible, caring adults as role models and those in mentoring programs – both the children and the adults – benefit tremendously from the experience."
Earlier this month, Governor Sebelius signed a proclamation in support of Kansas Mentoring Month. January marks a national movement to bring awareness to the nation's mentoring gap and to encourage individuals to get involved.
Currently in Kansas, 50,000 young people are in need of mentors. These children aren't searching for anyone famous; they are simply looking for a caring adult role model.
"We aren't asking for a huge time commitment," Coach Bill Snyder, Kansas Mentors co-chair said. "With an hour a week and a caring attitude, an individual can make a significant impact in the lives of these children."
Research shows that youth involved in mentoring relationships are more likely to increase their grades, graduate from high school and enroll in college. These same children are less likely to experiment with illegal substances, engage in violent behavior, and skip school.
"Mentoring can have a dramatic impact on not only our youth but it can also significantly impact the future viability of our state," Snyder said. "Mentoring helps our children stay in school, and as such, aids in the development of a skilled workforce and engaged citizenry."
Kansas' celebration of Mentoring Month joins a national effort that began in 2001 spearheaded by Harvard School of Public Health and MENTOR/National Mentoring Partnership. To learn more visit: www.nationalmentoringmonth.org.