The Daily Lens – “The Village” Canoga Park Senior Mentors

“The Village” Ready for School Center in Canoga Park, California employs professional staff with extensive training, experience, and educational background that include child and adolescent development, counseling, early childhood education, adult education, and community outreach. We offer applied, practical experience in mentoring and coaching with the goal of enhancing and increasing the number of quality, committed professionals to work with children and families 0-5.

Lorna Milman originated the program and was the site director for the duration of it’s operation.

“The Village has also been noted for its diversity. “We have more than 12 languages spoken in the Saturday class,” said Lorna Milman, The Village program director. As a result of Lorna’s efforts, interns from the local universities and community colleges are now involved in helping to accommodate the extensive language needs of families participating in The Village programs.” (courtesy First5/LA)

An important focus of our center is that the parent is the child’s first teacher. At our center, parents are supported in attaining skills and tools that enhance the powerful intrinsic motivation of helping their child succeed.

“The Village” Ready for School offers workshops, classes, and referrals to services that provide training and skill in parenting, childcare, school readiness, and health and safety issues. We offer unique parent/child classes in learning through music and art as well as traditional classroom settings. Our Village is truly trans-generational; “The Village” also enriches the lives of our 0-5 children with the benefit of the volunteer activities of seniors in our community. Retired social workers and educators from the Retired Senior and Volunteer Program come weekly to our center, connecting with our families as tutors in English as a Second Language as well as mentors and coaches in parenting. Parent can attend sessions of tutoring and mentoring with baby in arms, or in the same room, honoring the process of separation, and making a smoother transition to more formalized classroom settings for each of them.

Advocacy is a primary goal of our center. Our vision is to create a strong, empowered presence of support for children and their needs in the community. This enables young children and their families to be better connect with the resources that already exist as well as to play a part in enhancing and expanding them where necessary. “The Village’s” community outreach continually assesses and monitors quality providers and resources that are available in the community.

Funding by First5/LA and LAUSD.

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