Scottsdale Charros give support to MASK E3 education program

A view of MASK Mentors ready to spread the education message at a recent event. (Submitted photo)

A view of MASK Mentors ready to spread the education message at a recent event. (Submitted photo)

A Scottsdale nonprofit is working toward educating families on the sometimes harsh realities children have to deal with in their day-to-day lives.

Mother’s Awareness on School Kids works with local school districts to help engage, educate and empower students, teachers and parents with tools and tactics to utilize in difficult situations — substance abuse, underage drinking and bullying in particular.

“MASK addresses topics such as but not limited to bullying, substance abuse, technology safety, food and fitness and self-esteem,” said founder and CEO of MASK Kimberly Cabral. “Our year-long, mentor-based approach in schools helps build students’ skill and social sets to handle life situations that may come their way. Each program has an accompanying parent program to inspire continued communication and knowledge.”

The Scottsdale Charros agree the MASK mission is just and ought to be supported as the philanthropic group has provided MASK with a $9,500 grant this fiscal year allowing the nonprofit’s E3 program to thrive in Scottsdale Schools.

“MASK’s school-based program aims to build social and emotional skills in children while helping the school create a positive climate and atmosphere in a manner that meets also helps teachers and school administrators meet educational standards,” Ms. Cabral said. “A school-wide approach on positive social-emotional skills creates an education environment that prepares children to be ‘ready to learn.’”

Ms. Cabral points out the MASK E3 program offers communities, schools, teachers and students an evidence-based presentation that relates to current issues younger generations face.

“Our goal and aim is to improve school climate, build healthy children, and strengthen parent-child bonds through psychoeducational information, classroom-based activities, practical tips on helping parents understand their child’s experiences, and education on current trending topics through our MASK the Magazine and parent school program,” she explained.

Scottsdale Charro Kevin Hunt, who is a Charro sponsor of the E3 program, says he has seen first-hand the effects MASK can have on the youth of today.

“The program stresses ‘engage, educate, and empower’ and provides tools, knowledge and the resources to help kids make safe choices,” he said of why he believes in the program. “It covers many areas of concern such as bullying, sexting, alcohol and drugs, online safety and many other topics that kids and adults struggle with daily.”

We all face challenges, Mr. Hunt says, but MASK programs help the youth of a community cope with the at times, difficult reality of growing up in the 21st Century.

“They really help to prepare our kids for many of the tough challenges of life,” he said. “There are also tools for parents that may help make discussions of these issues with their kids more comfortable and beneficial.”

Mr. Hunt contends MASK enhances the community of Scottsdale through its conscientious approach to educating community members on how to handle difficult situations everyone has an opportunity to encounter.

“An educated and prepared community of kids, schools and parents is thereby much more enhanced,” he said. “MASK acts as a fantastic liaison between all of them and MASK’s mission to educate everyday will have lasting positive influence for generations in Scottsdale.”

To learn more about MASK, go to maskmatters.org or call 480-502-5337.

Northeast Valley Managing Editor Terrance Thornton can be contacted at tthornton@newszap.com

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