Providing Help. Creating Hope. Serving All.

Catholic Charities, Diocese of Venice, Inc. is committed to educating the youth of the community by encouraging and inspiring them to be life-long learners, community builders, and people of service. These goals are accomplished through the Youth Mentoring Programs and After-School Reading Program at the AFCAAM Center.  AFCAAM of Catholic Charities acts as a compass that directs children toward the core values of Leadership, Citizenship, Fellowship, and Stewardship.

Making a difference in tomorrow’s leaders today!

The Youth Mentoring Programs are dedicated to embracing and empowering young women and men with knowledge, skills, and the abilities needed to make good life choices. Every child receives a home-based assessment in order to receive individual and/or group mentoring services. Group mentoring services are planned in accordance with a nationally recognized evidence-based model. Outcomes are objective and measurable.

SKILLS Female Mentoring

The SKILLS Female Mentoring stands for Success through Knowledge and Innovative Life-long Learning Skills. SKILLS helps young women ages 12 to 17 by offering them the opportunity to obtain and build upon the skills that promote self-esteem, academic excellence, and personal development. Mentoring sessions include abstinence education, peer-to-peer counseling, team building, recreation, and community service. Group mentoring has an emphasis on character building. The entire process facilitates a meaningful and innovative system of healthy relationships that provide the support and motivation young women need to stay in school and make successful life decisions.

STRAIGHT TALK Male Mentoring

The Straight Talk Male Mentoring is designed to increase academic performance, self-esteem, and emotional development for young men ages 12 to 17. The program provides participants with the intangible skills necessary to overcome obstacles to obtain success. Through weekly group meetings, hands-on activities, mentor relationships, peer tutoring, and self-evaluation, the program guides its participants toward achieving the highest levels of academic and personal development. The program encompasses several core values such as accountability, honesty, education, integrity, family values, respect for others, and respect for self.

Individual Mentoring
Individual Mentoring pairs up a male or female youth (12-17) with an adult volunteer. All volunteers receive a Level II screening and ongoing training and support from the mentoring team. Youth who participate in the individual mentoring track are also provided the opportunity to participate in group mentoring activities.

A student who reads is a student who succeeds!

The After-School Reading Program is known for its individualized reading instruction for struggling and disadvantaged students in kindergarten through fifth grade in the Harlem Heights and Dunbar communities. The program provides over 350 hours of intensive reading instruction in a safe educational environment with a student-to-teacher ratio of 12 to 1. The staff consists of qualified teachers, Florida Gulf Coast University undergraduates, and National Honor Society seniors from Bishop Verot, as well as retired adult volunteers who assist with homework, lessons, activities, and one-on-one tutoring. The focus of the program is to improve reading skills and create a love of reading because both are critical for overall academic success. Class instruction includes whole class, small group, and individual as well as enhancements to student learning.

AFCAAM of Catholic Charities also includes enrichment activities such as regular visits by the Lee County Bookmobile, special presentations by community experts, costumed storytellers, and theater performances. The staff communicates and partners with parents to encourage a bridge of literacy between home and school. Students receive free books each May to build their personal home libraries as part of the Books on Break event which promotes a family-school literacy partnership. AFCAAM of Catholic Charities is an affordable and high-quality program with results that show increased growth for 75 percent of students who attend regularly. In the Dunbar area, the After-School Reading Program serves Edgewood, Tice, Franklin Park, Bayshore, Tanglewood, Apostolic, and Colonial elementary schools. In the Harlem Heights area, the program serves Heights Elementary, Tanglewood and can serve Villas elementary schools.


Providing Help. Creating Hope. Serving All.
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