Listen to Children
Opening the Hearts of Children Through Active Listening
Since 1989, Listen to Children has mentored hundreds of children in Palm Beach County. Between 2010 and 2015, we have served 785 children. For more information about Listen to Children please call Penny Oranburg today at 561-832-3755.
About Listen to Children
Children need a caring adult to listen to them when they need someone to talk to. Listen to Children uses trained volunteers in the elementary and middle school setting to provide confidential one-on-one listening sessions with children who have been identified by their teachers as needing extra help due to family problems such as divorce or death, isolation, low self-esteem, or other behavioral clues. The volunteer visits the child once a week to listen and problem solve with the child.
The students are identified by the school teachers, assistant principals and guidance counselors. Many of these children are at risk of mental health and behavioral problems. Due to the number of referrals to the administration, a pattern of truancy, low self esteem or have recently suffered from a family issue such as divorce or a death in the family they are ideal candidates for the one to one time spent with their assigned Listener. Each child is seen once a week for 30-40 where they have an opportunity to openly share their feelings, learn coping skills, improve on their academic studies and develop a more positive outlook on self.
Data from our partnered schools have demonstrated that our students improve in their academics, behavior and self esteem. The mentors often serve as a referral source for the child and its family learning of their most basic needs through these one to one meetings. They also model those socially acceptable behaviors that the child may not witness within their own homes yet are reinforced by this one caring and available adult.
The best measure of the program’s success is in the words of the children who have been served by the Listen to Children program:
Cody shared “I owe everything I have to the volunteer Listener that I spent my 6th and 7th grade years with”.
Jaquale shared, “this program changed the way I look at things”.
Michael in middle school said “I like to talk about stuff that makes me mad so I won’t be mad no more”.
While Ivante in elementary school summed it up by saying, “I like the conversations that we have because some people don’t care but my Listener does.”
The Listen to Children program offers help and hope to those children it has reached. There are so many more that have yet to be helped. As our society becomes more demanding on the lives of so many families the demands and stressors have reached our youngest citizens. Listen to Children provides them an outlet, an opportunity to dream and create a future that offers then a chance for a better future.
The children served are not the only benefactors of the program. Our mentors have reported that working with the students has given many of them a new sense of purpose, a fulfillment of giving back to their community with a full heart. Many have shared that the children not only teach them about resilience and courage but also about trust. For our younger mentors, often graduate students, they report that they are now more certain of their choice to work in a social service field.
Become a mentor to a child. Call us today to apply! 561-832-3755
Listen to Children mentoring program matches a caring and supportive adult with
at-risk children experiencing academic and social problems.
Testimonials from our 2015-2016 school year:
"There was one student who stood out and was very special this year and also last year. He came to me last year as a second grader and again as a third grader. He stood out because he was a very sweet, loving, and caring child. Whenever I would come to his room, I was always met with a smile and a hug, and he only wanted to know if I would be coming back next week. We talked about himself, his parents, and his brother. He was very open about his feelings, and there was good communication between the two of us. When you can communicate and there is always a smile involved, there seems to be a special bond between both of you. He would often ask if I was coming back next season and when he saw my response of yes, he was thrilled. I felt a bond between us that helped him grow! Very rewarding!" -Mentor
"The Listen to Children Program is simply amazing! Your trained volunteers do a fabulous job!" -School Counselor
"One of my student had a very difficult year. He was put into 3 different placements. He told me that he always looked forward to our visits. He stated that he looked forward to "our talks" and didn't know what he would do without "our talks." He also enjoyed playing games while we talked. He often used puppets to express his feelings. I also loved the talks!" -Mentor