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VCU Students Mentor Richmond-Area Children of Incarcerated Parents

Gilberto, a Richmond elementary school student, was among 32 campers from Richmond-area elementary schools who have an incarcerated parent. Through a program of the Virginia Conference of The United Methodist Church called “All God’s Children,” the children attended camp at Chanco on the James for a week, getting an opportunity to zip line, take nature walks, work on arts and crafts, canoe on the James River, practice archery and much more.

Mentoring the campers were 15 VCU students and recent graduates, most of whom were taking part through “Mentoring Children At-Risk,” a summer field study course taught by Geri Lotze, Ph.D., a teaching associate professor of developmental psychology in the Department of Psychology in the College of Humanities and Sciences.

“One of the biggest struggles for kids with incarcerated parents is relationships. Imagine if your mom — who is, in many cases, your primary caregiver — was incarcerated. Kids really struggle with that,” Lotze said. “So, here at camp, what they have is a one-to-one relationship with a VCU student mentor.”

Read the full VCU News article.