Dashing through the snow...

CHESTERTOWN It was barely 20 degrees outside, but about 40 elementary kids poured off the bus at Circle B Ranch in Chestertown, anxious for a sleigh ride. The students from North Warren are part of the three-year-old mentoring program, where adult staff members volunteer their time to mentor one student who might need a little extra support from a caring adult. Started by Elementary Counselor Deirdre Hill, this years program has 40 students, each with a volunteer mentor. Warren County Sheriff Patrol Officer Greg Seeley is the school resource officer, and a mentor for a student as well. He was along for the sleigh ride donated by Chris Boggia of Circle B Ranch each year. I spend about a half hour a week with my student, and he usually likes to look at my cop car, Seeley said. Sometimes I help him read or have lunch together. Hill said the mentors range from the school nurse to custodial staff and teachers aides. The purpose is to support and form relationships with a caring adult, Hill said. We have fun together, with lunch, games, talking, drawing, or whatever. She said the program has shown amazing results. The kids have the opportunity to get attention from a caring adult in the school environment, she said. Its similar to the Big Brothers, Big Sisters concept, except its within the school. Boggia is a former North Warren teacher, and has offered the horse-drawn sleigh rides to the mentoring program for three years. This year, he hooked up Rio and King, two painted draft horses to pull the sled full of kids and mentors. Since his retirement from teaching, Boggia has added an indoor arena and commercial boarding to his ranch. Were so grateful to Chris for doing this for us every year, Hill said. Its wonderful for the kids and they love it.

Vote on this Story by clicking on the Icon


Use the comment form below to begin a discussion about this content.

Sign in to comment