Friday, October 16, 2015

Myths About Becoming a Mentor

The thought of becoming a mentor is usually followed by a number of different myths. Because mentoring makes a huge difference in a young person's life, we teamed up with a few of the Littles to put an end to these myths. Here is what the Littles had to say:
Myth: I have to spend a lot of money.

Fact: How much money you spend on your Little is completely up to you. The Littles just want a friend to talk to, play with, and learn from. It is important for the Littles to know they have someone who cares about them and is there to help them with day-to-day activities. Here are what the Littles say they like best about spending time with their mentors:
  • “I just need a friend or someone to talk to” -5th grade
  • “Helping with homework” -4th grade
  • “She always is nice to me and kind and I never had a big sister ever so she changed my life a lot.” -4th grade


Myth: I have to spend a lot of time and plan fun activities.

Fact: The Littles enjoy playing games, sports, doing homework, crafts, and most importantly just having a friend. Here are what some of the Littles said their favorite activities were with their mentors:
  • “When she plays Candyland with me.” -1st grade
  • “Play basketball and hang out” -5th grade
  • “Drawing pictures, playing games” -1st grade

Myth: Only the mentee benefits from a relationship.

Fact: Being a mentor creates a long-term trusted relationship that both the mentor and mentee can benefit from. As a mentor, the greatest benefit you will receive is seeing the positive difference you have made in your Little’s life. Here is how the Little’s say their mentor has made a difference:
  • “She's helped me believe in myself more and be more confident” -5th grade
  • “She has impacted my life because she helped me with my school homework so I get good grades” -5th grade
  • “I feel my big has changed my life a lot because now I never back down from a challenge” -8th grade

The first step to becoming a mentor is to get yourself excited for the opportunity. Hopefully, by clarifying these myths, you will be able to build up your excitement to follow through with the next part of the process - filling out the online application.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Top 10 One-Hour Fall Activities in Central Minnesota

With the new school year starting it can be difficult to find time to spend with your Little.  However, fall is a time filled with many fun and engaging activities for you and your Little to enjoy together. To give you some inspiration, we have put together a list of 10 one-hour-long activities for you to try this fall:

  1. Go out to eat: There are many local restaurants that have “kids eat free” night or that offer discounted kids meals.  Some of these restaurants include:
    • Buffalo Wild Wings
    • House of Pizza
    • IHOP
    • La Casita
    • Mongo’s Grill
    • Perkins
    • Pizza Ranch

  1. Play at the park: Central Minnesota is filled with lots of fun parks for both kids and adults.  Some of the most popular include:
    • Munsinger Gardens
    • Lake George: Playtime at the park
    • Quarry Park and Nature Preserve
    • Heritage Park

  1. Head to the Zoo: What is more fun than taking your Little out to the zoo to see animals from all over the world!  You don’t need to drive to the cities, either. Some local zoo’s include Hemker Park and Zoo in Freeport, Minnesota and Pine Grove Zoo in Little Falls.

  1. Volunteer to Rake Leaves: Teach your Little about the importance of helping others in your community by volunteering to rake leaves for their neighbors.

  1. Go to the Museum: Explore and learn some of the local history Central Minnesota has to offer.  Many local museums feature events and educational programs as well. Some local museums include:
    • Stearns History Museum
    • Cokato Museum
    • Benton County Historical Society

  1. Go to an Orchard: Fall is the perfect time to take your Little to have fun at a local orchard.  You can enjoy the pumpkin patch, corn maze, wagon rides and so much more. Your Little won't be able to stop talking about it! Local Orchards include:

  1. Go to the Library: Many local libraries offer different story and craft times; this is a good opportunity for you to work on homework and reading with your Little. Visit the Great river Regional Library page for more details.

  1. Farmer’s Market: Take your Little to a local farmer’s market to share with them the importance of supporting local farmers. You can pick out some fresh ingredients and cook with your Little from scratch.

  1. Kinder Gym: Take your Little to the Whitney Center Gym and encourage them to be stay active playing a variety of different sports - or teach them a new one! The Gym hosts weekly activities that you and your Little can take part in.

  1. Go for a Walk or Bike Ride: Central Minnesota has many beautiful walking and biking trails to explore and see the changing fall colors. A few of these trails include:
    • Central Lakes State Trail in Osakis
    • Glacial Lakes State Trail in Paynesville
    • Lake Wobegon Trail in Holdingford

This is only a few of the many things to do in Central Minnesota this fall.  Be sure to get out and have fun with your Little before the cold weather gets here! Don’t forget to share your pictures of all the fun you and your Little have this fall!