Mentoring Program

FAMILY GUIDE

The South Windsor Mentoring Program is a partnership of South Windsor's Youth & Family Services, Public Schools and Chamber of Commerce.

DO YOU REMEMBER THE MIDDLE SCHOOL YEARS?

I'm sure we can all remember them as a time of enormous change both academically and socially. Now think back to the people who were a part of your life. Parents, friends, relatives, neighbors, teachers, and coaches all became a part of your support network. As you think back, I'm sure you can more than one person who had a positive influence on your life… those who mentored you.

WHAT IS YOUTH MENTORING?

Mentoring is a one-on-one relationship between a caring adult and a deserving youth. Mentoring relationships help students to appreciate who they are while developing the skills they need to succeed.

PROGRAM HISTORY

The South Windsor Mentoring Program began in the fall of 2001 and has volunteer mentors working with Grade 6, 7, and 8 students for one hour a week during the school year. The program is a partnership between South Windsor's Youth & Family Services, Public Schools and the Chamber of Commerce. The partnership allowed us to create a team dedicated to providing a quality program for our students. Youth & Family Services provides program coordination and mentor training while the Chamber of the Commerce works with us to recruit mentors from our business community.

PROGRAM DESCRIPTION

Our program is school-based which means that students and their mentors meet on school grounds, during the school day, following the school calendar. Mentors and students will meet weekly for a friendly visit. Weekly activities might include working on a computer in the library, playing a board game, spending time in the gym, or making a craft. Who are the mentors?

Our mentors are from local businesses as well as the community at large. Before being matched with a student, a mentor must successfully complete a rigid screening process that includes an application, personal and business reference checks, an interview, a police background check and an initial training session. Mentors are also required to attend on-going training and group meetings throughout the year.

WILL MENTORING BE DISRUPTIVE TO MY CHILD'S ACADEMIC SCHEDULE?

The mentoring team will work closely with your child to ensure that it is not a problem. At Timothy Edwards, your child is a member of an academic team. The team includes teachers who will be spending the year with your child and will be aware of your child's abilities and needs. Communication between the academic and mentoring teams will help us to learn about any scheduling problems and adjustments will be made accordingly. In addition, your child will also be required to find a "study buddy" who will get any missed assignments.

WHY WOULD I WANT MY CHILD TO PARTICIPATE IN THE MENTORING PROGRAM?

Research shows that mentoring relationships help students to develop work ethics and responsibility, improve self-esteem and attitudes towards school, improve relationships with peers and family members and increase communication skills. The presence of a variety of positive influences in a child's environment is crucial, especially at an age where children are developing relationships with those outside of their family. Mentoring relationships help children to develop confidence to seek guidance from caring, supportive adults. It is a skill that will help them in school, college and the workforce. The mentoring relationship does not replace the role of a parent or teacher. A mentor is a friend.


If you would like more information about your child becoming involved in the
South Windsor Mentoring Program, please call:

Tara Kozik, Social Worker
Timothy Edwards Middle School
(860) 648-5033

or

Nancy Larson, Principal
Timothy Edwards Middle School
(860) 648-5030

If you would like to become a mentor, please call:

Cindi Yakoubian
South Windsor Public Schools
(860) 291-1256