“Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.” –Leo Buscaglia
Three years ago our school embarked on a collaborative project called Mission Mentors. Mission Mentors was initiated in order to engage our entire community in building special one-on-one relationships between responsible adult volunteers and students.
Need for a mentoring program… • Children from single parent homes • Not enough one-on-one attention at home • Struggling with school work • Low self esteem • Behavior problems • Children that just need a friend…
Our Mission Statement: • We want to engage our entire community in providing opportunities that allow all children to be the best they can be by building special one on one relationships between a responsible adult volunteer and a child.
Goals: • To build connections with children. • To build self-esteem, self motivation and self-determination in the children.
Goals: • To establish relationships that enable children to discuss educational concerns with a mentor.
Goals: • To help children become aware of, avoid and overcome problems that can cause young people to act in negative or destructive ways.
Goals: • To improve classroom participation and the academic success of children.
Responsibilities of School Based Mentors: • Grades 1-5 • Spend one hour per week with the child. • Mentor during school hours at the school.
Responsibilities of Community Based Mentors • Grades 6-12 • Interact with student at least three times per month. • Mentor after school hours through suggested activities. • Mentoring takes place outside of school hours.
Recruitment of Mentors • Find sources of mentors: • Churches • Large Employers • Civic Organizations • School Employees • Board of Directors • Referrals from existing mentors and board of directors.
Mentee Referrals • Referrals from Teachers and Principals • Referrals from Parents
How Mission Mentors Began.. • Observed Other Mentor Programs • Established a Board of Directors Spread the word about Mission Mentors
How Mission Mentors Began.. • Developed Paperwork • Guidebooks for School Based and Community Based Programs • Guidebooks for Parents • Mentor Applications • Mentee Referral Forms • Parent Letters • All paperwork is on missionmentors.com
How Mission Mentors Began.. • Recruited Mentors • Applications and Background Checks • Collected Mentee Referrals • From Teachers/Parents • Collected Parent Permission Forms
How Mission Mentors Began.. • Mentor Orientation Ruby Payne Seminar • Mentor Kickoff Parents, Mentor, and Mentees
Funding: • Private Donations • Fundraiser Dinner • Meal before a home football game
Match Support Specialist “Supervision of the match was the program practice most associated with close mentoring relationships. Mentors and their mentees met at the highest rates in programs that provided regular supervision, and at the lowest rates when such supervision was lacking or inadequate.” Mentoring: A Promising Strategy for Youth Development By Child Trends
Match Support Specialist • Monthly Updates from Mentors and Parents • New Matches During Summer and School Year • Paperwork • Referral Forms • Parent Permission Forms • Mentor Applications/Background Checks
Match Support Specialist • Provide individual training and support to mentors, parents, and mentees.
Match Support Specialist • Monthly Calendar • Updates on School Activities • Absent Students • Website www.mission mentors.com
Match Support Specialist • Develop strategic interventions to identify and strengthen match relationships that require extra support to continue to grow.
Match Support Specialist • Perform yearly surveys with mentors, parents, mentees, and teachers. (surveymonkey.com) • Assist in planning activities throughout the year. • Kickoffs • Fundraiser • Mentor Appreciation Days • Mentor Banquet
Where We Are Today!... • 85 Matches (170 people total) • More are added every month
Where we are today!.. • After two years of mentor-mentee relationships, the results have been astounding. • Teachers have commented that the students with mentors are HAPPIER!.
Where we are today!... • Teacher surveys indicate that 86% saw an improvement with mentees’ self-esteem, self motivation, and self-determination.
Where we are today!... • 80% of teachers saw improvement in regards to classroom participation and academic success of the mentees.
Where we are today!... • Over 77% of teachers noticed significant improvement in mentee attendance • 68% felt students had established relationships that allowed them to discuss concerns with a mentor.
Where we are today!... • Over 73% of teachers said Mission Mentors helped build connections between mentors and the parents of the mentees.
Where we are today! Comments from our teachers… • “The smile on these children’s faces is enough to know that having a mentor is important to them and beneficial in their life.” • The program has made a positive impact on many lives of children that don’t have ideal situations. Any academic gains is just icing on the cake!”
Where we are today!... • “As teachers, we want to impact the lives of all of our students, but often it is difficult to reach them all on the same level. If we are going to expect all students to be successful learners, they have to start by ‘showing up’ every day…Mission Mentors has helped students make the connection that consistent attendance and work habits are important for student success.” • Elaine Hutchison (Oklahoma’s Teacher of the Year)