Since 2011 The Landing Youth and Tutoring center has provided a safe and positive after school space for the middle school and high school students of Crook County. Currently open three nights per week during the school year, the mission of The Landing is to enrich, mentor and educate through after school programs. We do this primarily through volunteers who help students with homework, teach life-skills, and act as mentors to many of the youth.
Our volunteer program has been successful largely due to the quality of our volunteers and the autonomy we provide to them as youth mentors. Each of our volunteers brings a unique personality and skill set to The Landing. We try to encourage our volunteers to use their strengths in building health relationships with the youth. For example, two women who love sewing started a sewing program at The Landing. Last year they helped the youth make hacky-sacks and also led a quilt-making project.
When it comes to the benefits of spending time at The Landing, our volunteers say they enjoy being around the energy of the youth. They also like seeing that they are making a difference in the lives of others. Many of the students at The Landing are in the awkward stages of middle school. Having caring mentors and tutors makes a big difference in how they transition from kids to young adults.
One of our most successful stories is that of our volunteer-led project to decorate a tree for last year’s St. Charles Hospice auction. Over the course of two months our volunteers instructed the youth in woodworking, sewing and crafting in order to entirely decorate a 7 foot tall Christmas tree. The youth-decorated tree was eventually auctioned off for $1,300, entirely for the benefit of hospice. Together our volunteers and youth had great fun giving back to the community in an impactful way. In fact, our volunteers had so much fun that they are already planning on repeating the project and teaching the youth to sew teddy bears for this coming year’s tree.
The best news is that there is more to come. The Landing starts again on Sept. 13th for the 2016/2017 school year, and all students from Crook County are invited. So join us at The Landing!