Success stories

Success Stories

Oconee Mentor Program

At its most basic level, mentoring helps because it provides a student an additional person is willing to provide the support they need during a difficult time. Mentors provide their students with an an experienced friend who is there to help in any number of situations.Simple things that seem easy or straight forward to you now may appear to be a complete mystery to a young person.

Research shows:
In terms of educational achievement, mentored youth have better attendance; a better chance of going on to higher education; and better attitudes toward school. In terms of health and safety, mentoring appears to help prevent substance abuse and reduce some negative youth behaviors.

On the social and emotional development front, taking part in mentoring promotes positive social attitudes and relationships. Mentored youth tend to trust their parents more and communicate better with them.
Nearly 18 million young Americans need or want mentoring, but only three million are in formal, high-quality mentoring relationships. That unmet need constitutes what we call the”mentoring gap.”


Oconee Mentors 2014-2015


 Finding mentors for children is a tremendous challenge that we are working on in this community. And with each new mentoring initiative, each new collaboration between organizations, businesses and schools, we are steadily closing the gap. For more information on how you can become a Mentor visit our resource page.

Food Program to Address Student Hunger

Oconee Area Resource Council has teamed up with the local school system and partners to implement the Oconee Food for Kids program in an effort to address hunger insecurity issues for children in the community. For some students, it is not unusual not to eat much food between the time they leave school Friday afternoon and the time they return to school Monday morning. The program buys non-perishable kid friendly food items and distributes them discreetly every Friday to those children who have been identified by teachers and counselors as the most needy, pending parents’ approval. We have 2 nutritionists on our committee who help us carefully select the items that we distribute. We always include fruit.


 
In 2011 we started serving 30 students with a long waiting list. We slowly added more kids to the program as we received more funding. In six months we doubled the number and have steadily increased the number as funding permitted. This week we distributed 105 bags of food to chronically hungry kids in our community.

We try to keep the cost at $5 per bag. The cost of the bags are defrayed by people donating food items and groups holding food drives. It costs $240 to feed one student each weekend throughout the school year. The Oconee County School faculty and staff are some of our biggest supporters. The Cooperative Extension office provides space for the storage and packing of the bags. We rely on volunteers to deliver the food and we receive tax-deductible donations from businesses, churches and members in the community. It takes many people and organizations to make this program a success!

We continue to improve the quality of items in each bag. At the end of the year we survey the children to find out what were their favorite and least favorite items. Last year we added a second piece of fruit because it was by far their favorite food.

We started this school year by adding a tube of toothpaste and a toothbrush, donated by local dentists, to each bag. We also have a volunteer coordinator working with different groups to provide each child a little holiday gift bag four times a year.


Donations to the program can be made out to Oconee Area Resource Council , P.O. Box 149, GA 30677. For additional information and information on how you can help please call 706-769-4974 or email ann@oconeeconnection.org.
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