By Ken Steadman
Evelyne and Elliot Kornreich were first introduced to Kids on the Rise (KOTR) by former board member Jerry Sorgenfrei. He spoke about the wonderful things the organization did for young boys and girls through the Mentoring and Storybook Reader Programs.
Elliot was the first to get started as a mentor in November 2010. His mentee was an 11-year-old who loved sports like he did and that formed a warm and lasting connection. Evelyne started the following summer by just volunteering for special events. She is now a full-time mentor in the KOTR Program.
"Elliot and I currently mentor a brother and sister," Evelyne commented. "They are several years apart in age so we pick and choose activities we do together and those we do separately.”
Evelyne spent more than 30 years in the field of education, so she found mentoring a natural and comforting thing to do.
“We have been accepted by the children’s family and are invited to such events as birthday parties,” continued Evelyne.
Elliot added, “In the beginning, we mainly attended activities set up by KOTR. Now, we also set up our own events such as attending Indian pow wows, going to crane festivals, cultural events, swimming, movies and a summer reading program.”
Elliot’s mentee is about to enter Stone Memorial High School. He is regularly encouraged to do his best and strive to graduate in order to prepare for his future. Evelyne’s young girl is nine and attending elementary school and is supported to continue doing well in school and develop a strong love of reading to widen her knowledge.
Evelyne and Elliot’s parting words of advice: “KOTR is a wonderful organization with a mission devoted to children, their well-being and their future. We strongly urge anyone interested in helping a child realize his or her full potential to get involved. We have found for ourselves that the experience is very rewarding and fun.”
Do yourself a favor and learn more about how you can contribute to a child’s future. You are required to go through a background check, fingerprinting and supply references that will be checked for the safety of the KOTR program. Executive Director Donna King can answer all of your questions. Call her at 459-2388 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org to set up a personal interview.
There are currently 29 children on the waiting list. Most are boys, so male mentors are much in need. The KOTR office is at 348 Taylor St., Ste. #102, Crossville, TN 38555.