Kids 'n Kinship
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January is National Mentoring Month!

National Mentoring Month is a time to focus on the real life benefits of mentoring to young people, as well as the life-changing stories shared by mentors themselves. Watch for these special dates to celebrate mentoring:

- 1/4/2018 - I Am a Mentor Day
- 1/11/2018 - National Mentoring Month Kick-off Twitter Chat
- 1/15/2018 - Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service
- 1/17/2018 - International Mentoring Day
- 1/25/2018 - #ThankYourMentor Day

Find out more about mentoring at an upcoming Kids ‘n Kinship information session! See our calendar for dates.

“My Mentee made me have FUN again doing things I hadn't done in a long time! Visiting the Zoo, Library, Rollerskating, just to name a few. And LAUGH, a true belly laugh... we had that happen on a few occasions :). I also felt a sense of purpose, outside of the "normal" routine I had become used too.” – From a Kids ‘n Kinship Mentor

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Kids 'n Kinship
14870 Granada Avenue #127
Apple Valley MN, 55124
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Medical Monkeys
Funds received from the purchase of the Medical Monkeys goes towards finding mentors for our waiting youth.

Bowlathon 2018 is Coming!!

Save the Date: April 22nd

More details coming soon - if you have any questions or wish to be a sponsor or added to our email list please email Melynda at:


Media Relations

Kids 'n Kinship would like to acknowledge the significant contributions of Media Relations for their ongoing support in promotion and publicity of our program.

Thank you donors!

This Quarter's Donors

Match highlight Winter 2018 Deena and Talia

It is 5 year anniversary time for this wonderful match! "Over the years, I have watched her grow from a silly, fun loving young girl into a caring, responsible teenager." Says Deena

The match began in January 2013 through our school based mentor program. Deena visited Talia in her third grade classroom every Friday. They would occasionally read, work on a journal, play a game or visit the media center. Now that Talia is older, they get together outside of school and enjoy games and watching movies and in warmer weather, they do outdoor activities like bike riding, going to parks, and having water balloon fights. One of the things Deena says she enjoyed the most was making gifts with Talia for Talia's friends and family for Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, birthdays, and Christmas.

"The match is going great after all these years. The ladies still get together on Fridays during the school year and on summer break. They cook/bake and do crafts together...among other things. Talia is excited to get to know Deena’s grandchildren." Says Talia's mom

Talia has become part of Deena's family, spending time with Deena and her husband, their children and grandchildren and helping with garage sales. And speaking of sales: Last summer Deena and Talia started collecting grocery store receipts. The receipts are from any Spartan Nash store through a program called Direct Your Dollars. Local Spartan Nash stores include Family Fresh in Farmington and Econofoods in Northfield. People mail their receipts in; Deena and Talia collect and organize them. They just accumulated $150,000 in receipts earning $1000 to support mentor matches in Kids 'n Kinship! Way to go ladies!!!

Watching Movies Together

Thursday, January 4, 2018

  I like to talk to my kids about what they are watching, on TV and at the movies.  I love it when books are turned into movies so we can read it first and then watch the movie and discuss how it changed and the creative license they used to make it a movie and why.  What about the book would not have been good in a movie and what did they add to make it better?  Or was it not as good as the book?  Talking to your mentee after a movie can have great benefits!  Just read the article below!!

Mentors can help their mentees get the most out of the movies they watch

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Children can benefit from both the positive and negative themes of a movie by watching and discussing the film with a parent or other adult, research shows.
Researchers analyzed popular children’s movies and ranked their most common positive and negative themes. While the most common positive theme was the importance of helping and protecting others, the use of guns and other weapons topped the list of negative themes.
Victoria Heasley, a medical student in the Penn State College of Medicine, says she and the other researchers wanted to highlight how children can gain powerful insights from the themes in movies with the help of coviewing, or watching and discussing the film with a parent or other adult.

(Credit: Katie Bohn/Penn State)
“Parents often want to talk about negative themes they see in movies, like drugs or violence, and they absolutely should,” Heasley says. “But it’s also important to talk about positive themes, like how the characters worked together to solve a problem. If you talk about the negative while also capitalizing on the positive, it can be a very productive discussion.”
Previous research has shown that positive messages in movies can be boost cooperation, empathy, and other traits in young viewers. But the American Academy of Pediatrics also warns that violence in the media could result in aggression and bullying, among other ill effects.
Robert Olympia, professor of emergency medicine and pediatrics in the Penn State College of Medicine, says he hoped that by getting a clearer snapshot of the themes in popular children’s movies, it would help parents make better decisions about what their kids watch while ensuring the kids also learn some valuable life lessons.
(Credit: Katie Bohn/Penn State)
The researchers narrowed the study’s focus to 45 of the top-grossing films from 2005 to 2015. They selected 15 G-rated movies, 15 PG-rated movies and 15 PG-13-rated movies before creating a list of themes they would track in each film. The researchers then analyzed each movie and ranked the results.
Across all 45 movies, the top three positive themes were the importance of helping and protecting others, collaboration, and working as a team, and standing up for what you believe in. The top three negative themes were the use of guns and other weapons, acts of violence or physical altercations, and demonstrating excessive anger.
“Although many studies have focused on negative themes associated with popular films, such as violence, drug use, and sexual activity, our study shows that top grossing films expose children to positive themes as well,” Olympia says. “It’s important to talk to children about the good and the bad.”
(Credit: Katie Bohn/Penn State)
Mentors can address negative themes by asking questions like, “Did a character bully another character? Why is bullying bad? What would you do if you saw someone bullied?” Positive themes can be addressed with such questions as, “Did a character stand up for what they believed in? What is something you believe in and would fight for?”
Olympia says that coviewing is essential to help children retain important messages and build key skills.
“This method encourages the development of critical thinking and internally regulated values, and has been shown to decrease aggressive behavior, substance use, and early sexual behavior in adolescents,” Olympia says. “While pediatric health care providers frequently recommend restriction and monitoring of media time, the promotion of coviewing and active mediation would allow parents and guardians to be involved in the development of their children.”
Heasley says coviewing can also be a way for mentors to capitalize on the positive traits of a character their mentee particularly admires.
“Sometimes coviewing helps them make that connection between a character they try to emulate and the positive messages they represent,” Heasley says. “Coviewing is really like an active discussion, and it allows a parent or other adult to pull out these positive themes and it makes the child actually think about what they saw and reinforces that positive theme.”

Bottom Line for Mentors
Going to the movies can be a great way for mentors and mentees to build up their relationship, something they both enjoy. Movies have the potential to be more than just a way to pass the time together, though. They can serve as opportunities for learning and critical reflection.
There is often a lot to unpack after a film, and, with a mentor’s guidance, mentees can draw lessons from the characters and themes of the movie and apply them to their own lives. Such conversations also serve as a useful way of connecting with your mentee in a meaningful way, helping to foster a relationship where potentially difficult topics can be discussed and problems addressed.
To access the original research, click here.

Mentoring Partnership of Minnesota

Kids 'n Kinship has achieved Expert Partner status through Mentoring Partnership Minnesota's Quality Mentoring Assesment Path (QMAP) and has a 100% overall implementation rating on an extensive list of best practices and quality standards for mentoring programs. We are 1 of only 9 other programs to earn this distinguished rating under these rigorous guidelines.