Why is mentoring important?
· We make youth feel important and capable
· We provide positive role models
· We help young people face daily challenges
· We support students in achieving their goals
· We encourage students to stay motivated and focused
What is mentoring?
· An on-going relationship with a student that can last from elementary through high school
· Meeting one-on-one with a student for up to one hour per week
· Meeting in school or on school grounds during the school day
Who are our mentors?
· Caring adults who volunteer one hour a week to spend with a child
· Men and women, retirees, bankers, artists, doctors, police officers, homemakers-just regular folks
· Willing listeners who are patient, flexible, encouraging and supportive
· It doesn’t take a particular kind of person to be a mentor-just a kind person
Who are the students we mentor?
· Some are looking for new perspectives and approaches to help them make choices
· Many want to develop their ability to make decisions and move beyond obstacles they encounter
· They are just regular kids dealing with the challenges of growing up
What happens once an application is completed?
· Careful screening through federal and state criminal & DCF background checks
· Interview with program coordinators
· Training in general procedures of the mentoring program, the role of a mentor, issues of confidentiality, appropriate activities for various developmental levels of children, strategies for communication, school policies and procedures
· Advanced training offering opportunities throughout the year on current topics of interest/importance
How are mentors matched with students?
· Students are referred by teachers, guidance counselors, social workers, parents or at the high school, self-referral
· Discussions take place between staff and student regarding participation
· Staff has telephone discussion with parent obtaining verbal permission
· Formal letter sent to parent inviting student to participate with written permission slip to be signed
· Initial match observed for 4 to 6 weeks
· If initial match positive, continue throughout the school year
What do mentors do?
· Show up every week and be reliable, dependable adults
· Enjoy the time they spend with their students
· Make a one-year commitment to the relationship with their student
· Play games or sports (indoors or out), do arts and crafts, read, do computer projects, just talk and listen-whatever the pair decides to do together each week
What on-going support does the program offer to mentors?
· Regular updates through mentor review meetings with coordinator, other mentors and school staff
· System provided for scheduling / coordinating meetings
· Supervision by school / program staff
· Information provided about appropriate activities for each child
· Provided a broad variety of resources & materials in the school setting
· Periodic workshops provided on various related topics
· Group activities offered throughout the year