Former educator helps connect mentors, school-age boys - Etcetera - 8/23/13

A screen shot from www.dannerfarms.org

A screen shot from www.dannerfarms.org

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Adults are mentoring school-age boys through a program established by a former longtime Milton-Freewater educator.

Jim Goodenough founded the Christ-centered, non-denominational Danner Farms to provide “fatherless” boys with adult male mentors who are followers of Christ, according to its Facebook page.

During a recent Milton-Freewater Rotary Club 294 meeting, Jim talked about the project he and wife Barbara pursued once he retired in 2009. He had been a counselor at Central Middle School from 1993-1996, vice principal there from 1999-2004, and completed his education career as principal at Grove Elementary School.

Jim and Barbara bought property at the base of Nichols Canyon and began developing it as a facility to offer kids in need a place for quiet mentoring. A family pet was the inspiration for its name. By August 2011 they had developed it to where it could fulfill their goal of providing a location where boys without fathers actively involved in their lives could be matched to volunteer mentors on a weekly basis.

School-age boys and their mentors develop gardens, tend the animals and help keep up the buildings and paths on the 8-acre property. Currently there are four mentors matched to four boys.

The services of dogs from the Blue Mountain Humane Society are offered for several months as companions to boys and their mentors and then are returned to BMHS for adoption.

Mentors must pass rigid background checks and meet with the boy and his parent before being matched. Mentors are encouraged to attend sports events in which the boys are involved.

Volunteers to help develop the farm, provide expertise in building maintenance and various farm tasks are welcome for whatever time can be allocated, Jim said.

For more information, contact at Jim at 509-386-5026 or click here.

Milton-Freewater Rotary meets at 11:45 a.m. Tuesdays in the Milton-Freewater Community Building, 109 N.E. Fifth St. For details, click here or contact Rotarian Robby Robbins at 541-938-6523 or robby@valint.net.

Etcetera appears in daily and Sunday editions. Annie Charnley Eveland can be reached at annieeveland@wwub.com or afternoons at 526-8313.

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