Recognizing that every child needs regular interaction with positive adult role models, particularly inner-city youth, CAI implemented an Email Buddy Program in 2000. The program, which is a modern version of pen pals, matches students in grades 5 – 8 with a CAI associate. Email Buddies correspond weekly by email for approximately three quarters of the school year discussing everything from family, to life skills, to educational goals, to hobbies. These 10 – 15 minutes per week, provide many Email Buddies an opportunity to connect in a meaningful way. Twice a year Email Buddies meet face-to-face, and where possible, Email Buddies are kept together the entire time the student is in the program. This approach of intentional, meaningful contact over multiple years gives the relationship the best possible chance for success, and as we have seen, often impacts both the student and the associate-mentor in ways that enrich both their lives.
Today, CAI Cares' Email Buddy Program serves more than 150 kids. For more information about this participating in this program, or starting a program of your own, please contact CAI Cares
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