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The Collegian

The Student News Site of Ashland University

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Ashland University

The Collegian

AU’s TAFT Mentor Program provides hope for struggling students 

This program aims to help and develop assistance to fourth and fifth grade students
Informational flyer for the TAFT program. 

AU GIVS, together with the Ashland Center for Non-Violence, have begun this year’s TAFT Mentoring Program at Taft Intermediate School, which aims to provide academic help and developmental assistance to fourth and fifth grade students in need of positive role models. 

Katelynn Roach, who runs the program, said, “Fourth and fifth grade… is such a developmental age, and if you can catch them out of their home life to show them how important and strong they are, they can grow up to be confident and see something in themselves.” 

The program was founded by Craig Hovey, on the idea that giving kids a positive influence and teaching skills such as problem-solving, critical thinking, and communication, will carry on into the rest of their lives. 

It’s not all teaching, however, as both the kids and mentors love to spice it up with fun activities like games, crafts, and anything else the kids want to do. 

This time is unstructured, instead dedicated entirely giving the kids a safe space to play, talk to each other, express themselves, and have fun with their mentors in a supportive and loving environment, rarely being told no or stopped from being themselves. 

Another thing that Roach stresses is food. She said, “I am huge on the importance of feeding these kids and our snack time, and I’m very pro-them taking leftovers.” 

According to a press release from the Children’s Defense Fund of Ohio, as many as one in four children in Ohio lives in a household that faces hunger, so by not only feeding them, but sending them home with leftovers, even more good can be done in their lives. 

The program is looking for more mentors, and they need male mentors to help connect better with the male students in the program. 

Meetings are every Monday from 3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. at Taft Intermediate School, located at 825 Smith Rd in Ashland, Ohio. 

To get involved or learn more, send an email to Katelynn Roach at [email protected]. 

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