Friends of the Children
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Friends of the Children, Portland
Friends of the Children - Portland is a non-profit organization that provides Portland's most at-risk children with intensive and long-term mentors. We take a preventive, early intervention approach that breaks the cycle of poverty and abuse by helping children in need overcome the many obstacles in their lives.
There are three key elements that make Friends of the Children - Portland so unique:
- We mentor the children in our community who need us the most.
- Our mentors (called Friends) are full-time, paid and professionally trained.
- We make a twelve and a half year (12 ½) commitment to each child, selecting them in kindergarten and guiding them through high school graduation.
In partnership with schools where there is a high concentration of students in need, our communities most vulnerable children are selected for the program during an extensive six-week observation process in the spring semester of kindergarten. Selection factors include a low level of family resources, poor performance in school, poor social skills, and high instances of poverty, crime and violence in the neighborhood where our children live.
Once selected, the child is assigned to a Friend. This Friend will spend a minimum of 16 hours per month with the child both in and out of school engaging him or her in a wide range of academic and enrichment activities designed to build basic life skills, self confidence, academic success and resiliency.