"I'm always last," declared 10-year-old Calvin. "It's not fair!"
Calvin's three older siblings all have Kinship partners and he is still waiting. He has only been waiting for five months, but it seems an eternity to this child who watches his brother and sisters go off with their Kinship mentors each week.
His mother tells him that when the other kids are gone with their partners, he gets his mom's total attention and doesn't have to share her time with the others. He likes this time alone with her.
Yet, when the other kids come home with stories of the cool things they've done -- like target shooting, or ice fishing, or a high school hockey game -- he once again realizes that they have something really special that he doesn't have.
Calvin is a quiet boy, which seems surprising since he's the youngest, and frequently the youngest child needs to be pretty vocal to be heard above the din of a large family's activities. He struggles with schoolwork and often doesn't understand his assignments.
He is eager to please and laps up attention like a puppy! His mom said that the thing he wants and needs most is the attention of an adult who will spend time with him one on one.
Calvin's family lives out in the country. This usually means they must take the bus directly home from school, eliminating after school activities, sports, or going to a friend's house. Calvin's siblings have their Kinship partners to take them on outings and enrich their horizons, but Calvin's world is pretty much school and home.
He hasn't been exposed to many interests and lots of other boys his age have. On his enrollment form for Kinship, Calvin listed video games, bike riding, and crafts as things he does best. He's had no experience with athletics of any sort, water sports or outdoor activities.
It would be fun to introduce this child to the wealth of opportunities available in the lakes area -- fishing, boating, snowmobiling, summer baseball, roller blading on the Paul Bunyan Trail, or attending the many high school athletic events. It would be quite a kick to observe the expression on the face of this kid who has never been to an ice arena, or the YMCA pool, or riding in a speed boat.
It would also be rewarding to 'watch the light bulbs' go off as he begins to understand his reading and math lessons with a little tutelage from a patient, caring adult who will spend some time one on one with him.
Calvin is waiting for your call. The delight on his face when hearing, "We've got a partner for you!" will be rewarding for the Kinship staffer. You can make this happen. Call Kinship today: Brainerd, 829-4606; Crosby, 546-7308; or Pequot Lakes, 568-4015. Or visit Kinship on the web. www.brainerd.com/kinship.
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