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Help a child experience ordinary magic

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With the school year just beginning, we think again of student achievement, standardized testing, math facts and spelling words. Our students are expected to grasp concepts and learn new information at an amazing pace.

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How can we help insure that all kids will reach the top of their potential? Recent evidence-based research from the University of Minnesota tells us it’s not all about flash cards and workbooks.

Rather, it’s about “ordinary magic” — creating compassionate and caring climates within our schools and community where children can work and play in safe, predictable environments.

Many of our mentors are concerned about improving their mentee’s academic performance. We can now tell them to “relax and have fun.” Joining together to play an occasional video game, grab a bite to eat or shoot baskets can actually help a child reduce stress, be healthier mentally and physically, and be more open to learning.

Simply showing up and letting that child know that he/she matters will have positive, long-term effects.

Peyton, a Pequot Lakes sixth-grader, would love to experience some ordinary magic. Her list of interests is long — crocheting, bike riding, animals and baking are just a few. She has a keen interest in musical instruments and would enjoy learning more about playing flute, guitar or piano.

Peyton is receiving special education services and needs a patient and structured mentor. The school year is off to a good start and Peyton loves her classes and teachers. Her mom is very supportive and hopes her mentor will help her build social skills, as well as boost her self-confidence and provide fun activities. She believes that someone with an understanding of children with special needs would be an ideal mentor for Peyton.

Offering guidance and activities to children like Peyton and the other children waiting for mentors will help them perform at the top of their game!

Kinship Partners serves families in Crow Wing and southern Cass counties and the Staples/Motley area by providing positive role models to youth ages 5 to 14. Offices are located in Pequot Lakes, Brainerd, Crosby and Staples. Call 218-454-8016 or email lakes@kinshippartners.org for more information.

Let the fun begin!

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Denton (Denny) Newman Jr.
I've worked at the Brainerd Dispatch with various duties since Dec. 7, 1983. Starting off as an Ad Designer and currently Director of Audience Development. The Dispatch has been an interesting and challenging place to work. I'm fortunate to have made many friends, both co-workers and customers.
(218) 855-5889
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