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Community Friends Mentoring

PROGRAM NAME Community Friends Mentoring
PROGRAM OVERVIEW Community Friends is a community based mentoring program run through Howard Center’s Child, Youth, and Family Services (CYFS).  The goal of Community Friends Mentoring is to create lasting friendships that positively impact the quality of life for the children, families, and volunteers involved.  The program has capacity for 75 mentoring matches. Community Friends Mentoring also oversees SB Mentoring, a collaboration between Howard Center and the South Burlington School District.  SB Mentoring matches adult volunteers with children at Orchard, Chamberlin, and Rick Marcotte Central School in a school-based mentoring model.
WHO WE SERVE Community Friends provides mentors to Chittenden County children, ages 6-12, who could use extra support due to stresses in their lives. Mentees are children who have a need for, and are expected to benefit from, a friendship with an adult volunteer.
WHERE WE PROVIDE SERVICES The Community Friends Team is located at the Howard Center CYFS building at 1138 Pine Street in Burlington, though our mentoring services are delivered throughout Chittenden County.
WHAT SERVICES WE PROVIDE Community Friends Mentoring Program recruits, screens, and trains volunteer mentors, and then matches referred children with fun, nurturing volunteers in one-to-one relationships.Participants meet regularly, usually 2-4 hours per week, to go on outings, do projects, or just talk.  All participants are asked to make at least a one year commitment.As a program of Howard Center, Community Friends has the resources to provide high quality mentoring relationships supported by a wide array of clinical expertise.
HOW SERVICES ARE FUNDED Program coordination for Community Friends is funded through grants, foundations, and fund-raising initiatives.  All mentors are volunteers. There is no fee to schools, parents, children, service providers, or insurance companies for Community Friends services.
HOW TO MAKE REFERRALS Referrals to Community Friends can be made by Howard Center staff, parents, school personnel, and/or other helping professionals.  To make a referral or for more information, contact the Program Coordinator, Catherine Shahan, at (802) 488-6650 or contact the SB Mentoring program, call Susie Merrick at (802) 652-7186 or e-mail or
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