Path To Shine® is a mentoring and tutoring program for elementary school children. Our purpose is to provide academic and social support to encourage children to thrive in school and build self-confidence to achieve their dreams. The program’s success stems from our principles to have a ratio of no more than one Mentor to two students, maintain a flexible structure that adapts to each local community, and consistently seek collaboration with other organizations. Path To Shine®’s hope is that children are inspired to achieve hope-filled dreams
Path To Shine® Columbus began with a group of children from East Carver Heights who were learning about teamwork, rules, honesty, and sportsmanship through the game of soccer. Thanks to the husband and wife team of Greg and Lisa Herring and St. Thomas Episcopal Church, in February 2014, the children also began benefiting from Path To Shine®’s after-school program.
The desire was to share different messages with children before they got involved with drugs and gangs, understanding that this could make a difference. Additionally, stressing the importance of graduating from high school and having dreams of a brighter future.
A typical meeting day looks like this: Children and adults start their Path To Shine® session by placing a sticker next to their name on the sticker chart to keep attendance. The Mentors work with the same one or two students each week, helping with homework, reading together, and catching up on the week’s events. During this time, the children can also choose a book they want to read with their Mentor.
Many children come to the program hungry, especially if they have not eaten since lunch at school (which can be as early as 10:30 AM), so they are given a healthy snack. Recreation time is an opportunity for Children and Mentors to play outside or play board games or puzzles inside. Lastly, group time is when the entire group comes together to practice attentive listening, comprehension and to learn valuable life skills. Through reading stories or guest speakers, the children begin to expand their worldview. Sometimes, the older children will read to the group. The students are also encouraged to ask and answer questions, reinforcing the idea that learning is active.
If you would like to volunteer by tutoring, providing snacks, or other supplies, please contact us using the volunteer form here.