Restoring Families as an Restoration Rome Mentor


Every first and third Thursday of every month, a group of 13 Darlington students will be involved and helping out at the Restoration Rome Center. The organization is a local center that focuses their efforts on the growing foster care crisis in Floyd County, hosting various complimentary activities and events.

The program is called Restoration Rome Mentors and was created by Darlington students Amelia Allen and Matyah Jackson with the purpose of  reaching out to children who need support and at the same time have fun and learn.

“Me and my friend Amelia made this project to help kids in the community that don’t have as much privilege or opportunity to do stuff like the kids at Darlington do. We partnered with Restoration Rome in order for Darlington students and kids from Restoration Rome to connect and build a relationship,” senior Jackson said.

The Mentors will be spending time with the children twice a month throughout the whole year in order to build these relationships.

“Our tasks will vary week to week. Some weeks we will jump on board with the plans the Restoration Rome employees create. Other weeks we look forward to using the talents of our students like robotics and dance to create activities to engage and interact with the kids,” faculty sponsor Taylor Boyle said.

The work that the mentors will be doing are not only going to be important for the children, but for the students as well.

“This program is super important for the young kids because they need someone to look up to and be able to have fun with. For the Darlington students, it’s important because it is a great opportunity to reach out to kids from different backgrounds and get to know them, and maybe some of their stories,” Allen said.

The program had its first session last Thursday and great connections were made, making both students, children and involved teachers to look forward to meeting again.

“I understand students have to get community service hours – however, after seeing the Darlington students work with these children, I can tell that relationships are starting to form. These children will look forward to having these familiar faces come and work with them every couple of weeks,” Boyle said.

Students involved restated that feeling.

“ I signed up for Restoration Rome Mentors because I needed community service hours, but after being there the first time I realized how important it is to actually help organizations like this one and I encourage others to do the same,” senior Aylin Aytemiz said.

It is an exciting program to be a part of with lots of fun, but it is also important to think about why the students are taking their time to do what they are doing.

“Why it is important to do these things is because it helps kids that go here at Darlington to understand what it’s like to not have the stuff and privileges that we do, it helps them become empathetic to that situation.” Jackson said. “I would most definitely encourage other students to get involved with organizations like Restoration Rome. It really makes you feel grateful for what you have and it makes you develop connections. It helped me realize this love I have for community service and for helping others”