Mid-Michigan summer camp program provides mentorship to children of color

‘Helps to mold a persons future’ -- Mid-Michigan summer camp program provides mentorship to children of color
Published: Jul. 12, 2022 at 6:36 PM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - Not everyone has someone in their life that influences them to make good decisions.

Building Child and Family Initiatives has a team of all Black men educating for its summer camp program. They said having mentors of color allows kids to relate.

“They have some shared experiences that may be a little different but they’re going to be pretty close to what we may have experienced,” said Dr. Donald Barringer. “And mentorship is actually something that helps to mold a person’s future, but it also helps to distract them from things that they may be thinking about doing that may not be healthy to them.”

Students told News 10 they’re getting guidance outside the home. Brooklynn Griggs said she’s grown with the program for years.

“They helped me a lot be more open because when I first got here, I didn’t know anybody,” said Griggs. “So, I was pretty shy, I didn’t speak to anyone but since they’ve been here, they’ve kind of helped me talk to more people and communicate more.”

The program works to ensure young minority kids see themselves reflected in what they’re learning.

Reading instructor, Ryan Holmes, said he picks material to represent the kid’s culture.

“This is a very blatant opportunity in really trying to give them books that can mirror them,” Holmes said. “Tell their story that are inspired by things that are actually happening in their world.”

The Building Child and Family Initiatives has events like a hip-hop history class and a mural painting based on math coming up in the next few weeks.

  • Hip Hop and Arts Class: July 12th through July 16, virtual
  • Mural-Matics July 23rd and August 16 through the 27th, Location TBA

More information on Building Child and Family Initiatives can be found on its official website here.

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