About AventWest Children's Mentoring
In February 1999, a group of caring and concerned community members came together to start AventWest Children’s Mentoring (AWCM), an after school tutoring program, to provide a safe place for children in the AventWest community to get help with homework and have a safe place to play. Through collaboration with the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina, AWCM became the pilot Kids Cafe program in central and eastern North Carolina. This partnership provided a hot, dinner meal each evening for the students.
Initially, the AWCM program met one day a week at Avent Ferry United Methodist Church with one to two dozen children attending and quickly expanded to include Western Boulevard Presbyterian Church as the second site in the community. The program currently serves up to 70 students per year at the two sites.
In January 2000, the AventWest Community Development Corporation was formed to help meet the needs of residents in the AventWest Community and for oversight of the after school tutoring program. Their shared purpose was to empower families to reach their full potential and to address the achievement gap by serving as mentors and educational support for the children. AventWest Children’s Mentoring is managed by a board of directors that meets monthly. On August 16, 2002 they received tax-exempt status under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.
Academically at risk children residing in the AventWest community are referred to the program by teachers, counselors, social workers, community members and parents. Volunteers from the host churches and surrounding community, area colleges, universities and high schools provide tutoring and mentoring services and enrichment activities to meet the needs of this diverse group of students.
What it All Means
"I started coming to Kid’s Cafe in 7th grade with one of my close friends. We always came faithfully every Tuesday and Thursday after school. Coming here has drastically improved my grades, seeing that we have college students mainly as tutors. This program has also helped me make new friends that I still talk to today. I came back to tutor because I want other kids to experience what I did when I came here. I couldn’t be more grateful to come across a program that is free, and might I add, that cares enough to take time out of the day to help children do better in school. Times like this definitely make me proud to study Science Education."
— Shamar Lamb, NC State Student volunteer and former AWCM student