For the past several years, members of The Crossing Baptist Church in Mesquite have mentored students through the Kids Hope USA program at Thompson Elementary School. This past summer, the school's assistant principal, Jennifer Hammett, spoke at the church regarding the value of the Kids Hope mentors. She shared that The Crossing's 18 Kids Hope mentors "have served approximately 630 hours, and they have had a profound impact on our campus. Webster defines a mentor as a person who imparts wisdom or knowledge. I. . . have chosen to alter this definition and say that a Kids Hope mentor is someone who imparts wisdom and knowledge, through kindness and diligence, in a manner in which each child knows and truly understands the most important message: YOU ARE IMPORTANT!" Mrs. Hammett also related a teacher's observation of a mentor's influence on a child in her class: “I wonder how the rest of her life will be changed because of the way her mentor has poured her life into her, one hour per week at a time. I have seen this student grow to be more respectful and responsible as a student and I believe it is because of her mentor.” My favorite comment, though, is what a student, Alice, said about her mentor: "We get to play games and do lots of fun things that she brings for us to do together. She is kinda like my best friend."
Alice's comment reminds me of the song I used to sing as a child, My Best Friend is Jesus. Children like Alice can learn to trust Jesus when they have experienced healthy, trustworthy relationships with caring adults.
DBA collaborates with Kids Hope and other great organizations to facilitate church/school partnerships. Could you give one hour a week to be a child's best friend?