Another school year has begun. My son, niece and I are getting back into the swing of things after a long and unscheduled summer. We go to bed earlier, wake up when it's barely light outside, pack lunches, check homework and make less elaborate dinners and breakfasts. It's cereal time again.

It probably goes without saying that the kids are not exactly stoked about the re-established routine. There is, however, one routine that they are definitely ready to get back into; their weekly meetings with their CAP mentors. For those in the valley not familiar with this program, allow me to fill you in.

The CAP program, run by Thrive, is a school-based mentoring program that is available to any student in the Bozeman Public Schools. They match up community volunteers to meet with their own student for an hour once a week throughout the school year. Their role is to provide support to a child, whatever it may be. The program runs on a prevention-based philosophy. It's wiser and cheaper to provide extra nurturing and support to a child early on rather than trying to "fix" them later. Every kid can benefit from a little extra positive attention whether it's academic, social or doing special projects.

The kids really look forward to their "appointments" with their mentors. Those are the days they are rushing me out the door to get to school on time. They're so lucky to have these extra adults in their lives. I hope that more people like them from our community will reach out and do the same for someone else's child. In this time of political rhetoric and who will do what better for who, why not take our community into your own hands and do something that really makes a local impact.

Amy Kemp

Bozeman

 

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