CAP Center needs volunteers

Published 7:38 pm Tuesday, September 26, 2017

The impact of a mentor can be transformative. It can sometimes be the difference in a child succeeding or failing.

The Vicksburg Child and Parent Center is aware of how life-changing mentoring can be, and in 2003 started a mentoring program.

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In an effort to continue this outreach into the community, the CAP Center will hold a mentoring training session from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Friday, at 3530 A Manor Dr. for those interested in becoming a mentor.

Once the training is complete, volunteers will then be matched with children who may need some kind of encouragement or support, mentor coordinator Susan Morang said

The role of a mentor is multifaceted, Morang said, but the ultimate goal is to consistently show interest in the child.

“Mentors can serve as a positive role model, provide encouragement, friendship, guidance, help the child realize his or her potential and support the efforts of teachers and parents,” Morang said.

Counselors and teachers typically identify children who could benefit from having a mentor, Morang said, as well as those working with the CAP Center.

“My co-workers also often identify a child from their case loads who would benefit,” Morang said.

The time commitment a mentor can typically expect to spend with their mentee is one hour a week, Morang said, or half an hour two times a week for younger students.

Visitation is held at school during the school day and it is best to try and work around the child’s schedule, so as not to take him or her out of their favorite class.

“Some mentors will show up at the beginning of the day before school begins so they can talk and get to know each other,” Morang said, and added that the personalities of the mentor and mentee will dictate what the pair does.

“I had one mentor who taught her mentee how to knit. I also had one lady who just basically helped the child get organized,” Morang said, explaining that this particular mentor helped the child organized her backpack and taught the child how to write down school assignments in a notebook.

Mentors can help their mentee with schoolwork, Morang said, but it is not required, since a mentor is different from a tutor.

During Friday’s training program, Morang said she is planning to have some current mentors on hand to share some of their experiences with the group.

“We will also go over some rules and regulations and expectations,” she said.

For those interested in participating in the program, requirements include being at least 21 years of age, having transportation, passing a reference and background check, committing to 60 minutes a week with the child and attending the occasional training/meetings.

For more information on the CAP Center mentoring program, call 601-634-0557.

“Mentors are good listeners, people who care and people from all economic, ethnic, and educational backgrounds — ordinary people, like you,” Morang said.

About Terri Cowart Frazier

Terri Frazier was born in Cleveland. Shortly afterward, the family moved to Vicksburg. She is a part-time reporter at The Vicksburg Post and is the editor of the Vicksburg Living Magazine, which has been awarded First Place by the Mississippi Press Association. She has also been the recipient of a First Place award in the MPA’s Better Newspaper Contest’s editorial division for the “Best Feature Story.”

Terri graduated from Warren Central High School and Mississippi State University where she received a bachelor’s degree in communications with an emphasis in public relations.

Prior to coming to work at The Post a little more than 10 years ago, she did some freelancing at the Jackson Free Press. But for most of her life, she enjoyed being a full-time stay at home mom.

Terri is a member of the Crawford Street United Methodist Church. She is a lifetime member of the Vicksburg Junior Auxiliary and is a past member of the Sampler Antique Club and Town and Country Garden Club. She is married to Dr. Walter Frazier.

“From staying informed with local governmental issues to hearing the stories of its people, a hometown newspaper is vital to a community. I have felt privileged to be part of a dedicated team at The Post throughout my tenure and hope that with theirs and with local support, I will be able to continue to grow and hone in on my skills as I help share the stories in Vicksburg. When asked what I like most about my job, my answer is always ‘the people.’

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