An African proverb states that it takes a village to raise a child. For many of us, life in Tehama County is so sweet because we appreciate knowing our neighbors and the village-like feel of small town and rural living. In 2000, the Tehama County Mentoring program was developed to ensure that each child had access to at least one “villager” for guidance and friendship. The concept is rooted in common sense—every child needs the support of caring adults—but is grounded by research. Simply stated: mentoring works! Children with mentors are more likely to stay in school and less likely to engage in risky behaviors.
And while the Mentoring Program has taken pride in serving children throughout Tehama County, a curious phenomenon is happening in Corning: demand for mentors is higher than ever. In particular, there is a great need for male mentors.
If ever there was a time to become a mentor, it is now. When children ask for mentors, they are asking for the village to step in and help. An hour a week in one of Tehama County Mentoring Program’s six mentoring areas can provide a young Corning student with the care and guidance he or she needs to develop into a confident, productive young adult.
The benefits to a student are broad. So too are the benefits to the adult mentor. Mentoring is an opportunity to share what you know and pass on the wisdom you’ve accumulated over the years. Matches in the Tehama County Mentoring Program are made by appropriateness of fit. For Corning mentor Carol Scott, this means sharing a love of baking. She recently spent an afternoon baking cookies with her mentee and was surprised to learn that it was the first time the young woman endeavored such an activity. Julie Light has brought out a vast collection of board games to play with her mentee over the winter. Now that spring is here, the two will spend time outdoors. Wayne Peterson enjoyed the movie Avatar so much that he made sure his mentee got to see it, thereby giving him the excuse to see it twice!
Mentors receive training and support once the background checks and application process is complete. The program offers monthly dinners for mentors to meet and share ideas. Group outings are offered, which allow participants to learn and have fun as well as meet others in the program. A summer standard is a trip to a Chico Outlaws baseball game.