ACAF Grant Supports Youth Mentoring Programs

Programs serve Whitesville and Genesee Valley students

The Allegany County Area Foundation (ACAF) recently presented a grant of $850 to Family Service Society to support the agency’s youth mentoring programs at Genesee Valley and Whitesville Central Schools. This award came about through the foundation’s Allegany Fund – an endowment that supports a variety of local projects each year.

According to FSS Youth Services Director Mike Foster, the grant will be used for a mural project at Genesee Valley, and also to fund pottery classes at Whitesville. “Genesee Valley used last year’s funding for pottery classes, and the children loved it” Foster noted. “We wanted to give Whitesville students that same opportunity. Both programs,” he added “will use the funding for yoga classes. This is a brand new opportunity for our youth to learn important coping skills and relaxation techniques.”

The GVCS and WCS mentoring programs are expected to serve 20 and 40 students, respectively. Participants and high school student mentors are identified through GVS/WCS faculty and staff recommendations. Ms. Erica Grantier serves as coordinator for both sites.

Family Service Society is now affiliated with the New York State Mentoring Program (formerly affiliation with the Big Brothers/Big Sisters program). Research has demonstrated that students involved in a mentoring program are more confident and caring, and significantly less likely to fight, skip school, or abuse drugs or alcohol.

Pictured (L to R): Bruce Campbell and Erica Grantier (Allegany County Program Coordinator).