Mentoring and the Arts (MAP)

Mentoring and the Arts (MAP)

The Mentoring and the Arts Program was developed in 1998, for at-risk juveniles.  The Berks County Juvenile Probation Office and Berks County Children & Youth Services are the referring agencies for the program.  The program is funded by the Juvenile Probation Office and run by staff members of the Olivet Boys and Girls Club, Police Athletic League.  There are four goals of the Mentoring and the Arts Program: involvement in the arts, mentoring, family involvement, and the help of a community wide support system.  The juveniles in the program are introduced to different art forms, as well as paired with a mentor who spends time with them on a weekly basis.  The program is unique in that it has an art component in which various artists from the community are hired and offer a service to the juvenile, introducing them to an art form that they may not have been exposed to before, such as poetry, photography, mural painting, dance and drama.  There is a "family night" held every six weeks.  On this night, the family is invited to the Police Athletic League and the "art form" that the juveniles have been working on for the last six weeks are either displayed or "played out," depending on which art form they have completed.  The juvenile is assigned a mentor, who spends time with them every week.  Sports activities, attending church, going to the mall or an art exhibit, school work or just talking are some of the activities that occur.