December 2022 Mentor Coordinator Reports

Scroll down to discover what is happening on all 5 school campuses with Be The One.

Ferndale | Lynden High School | Lynden Middle School | Lynden Christian | Nooksack Valley


Ferndale High School

Ferndale High School 

Looking Back (December) – Recruiting, Training and Matching new mentors and Students & preparing to transition to new FHS building. Activity of the Month: Cookie Decorating! 

Looking Ahead (January) – Recruiting, Training and Matching new mentors and Students & unpacking and setting up new FHS building. Upcoming Activity of the Month: New Year’s Reflection! 

Total: 28 Mentoring Pairs ( 1 more than last month) 

Activity of the Month: Cookie Decorating and making Ornaments –  

Special shoutout to BTO mentor, Jill Sawicki, for donating the cookies and frosting. Beads, string & pipe cleaners provided by BTO. 

Program Development 

2 Part-time BTO Coordinators at FHS – Annie Anderson works Mondays and Tuesdays. Michele Barmore works Thursdays and Fridays. No on-site Mentor Coordinator Wednesdays. 

New BTO Office will be in the counseling wing: Room 176! 

BTO Merch was distributed to mentors and students – felt like an early Christmas present! 

11 student referrals since November – 7 girls, 4 boys 

BTO New Mentor Orientation – Mon Dec 5th @ Ferndale Public Library – 1 person attended 

Upcoming BTO New Mentor Orientation – Mon January 24th from 10:00-12:00pm@ Ferndale Public Library – 3 people already signed up! – Email betheone@ferndalesd.org to sign up 

Mentor Coordinators check in with each other and collaborate on a regular basis. 


Lynden Middle School

Lynden Middle School 

Stories to Share

Deep Trust

We have a student who struggles with social connections.  This student can be abrasive with others and lacks sympathy with some individuals.  However, this student has really embraced mentorship.  They enjoy their time with their mentor each week, and they are learning skills to connect with others.  In fact, this student recently mentioned that they hope to continue with their mentor next year and into high school.  This student doesn’t not always trust others, but they trust their mentor!

Birthday Celebration

A mentor knew her mentee’s birthday was coming up and decided to surprise the girl with a special birthday celebration.  The mentor set everything up and shocked the girl when they met together.  The girl was so grateful for the wonderful gift.  Even a teacher noticed how thoughtful the mentor was.  Great job!

Good Jealousy

Often when I relay a message on to a mentee, other students try and listen in.  Usually, I try and keep mentoring private and keep curious kids at bay to protect the students from embarrassment.  That doesn’t always happen as planned.  On one occasion in December, a mentor asked me to ask their student what “coffee drink” they wanted from WOODS.  I went to ask the student, and they got really excited by the question.  The student proudly answered with confidence and made some other students jealous.  The request made the student feel like a VIP.  It also allowed other students to see one of the many perks of mentoring: Someone who cares and wants to bring a good coffee drink!

Mentoring by the Numbers at LMS

·       32 active matches at the middle school

·       2 new matches were made in the month of September

·       8 Students on our wait list, waiting for a mentor

·       20 potential students interested or referred to the program

·       284 hours of mentoring so far this school year

Program Update

Recruiting and Training New Mentors: We had one new mentor orientation with 5-6 people.  It was good to train a few more after having to cancel a few orientations.  Someone asked me the other day if we needed more mentors and I responded, “we always need more!”

Holiday activities and gifts: We had some pairs celebrate the holidays with gifts, activities, cards, and candy.  Many mentors made the effort to make this time special.

Upcoming

Getting new mentors matched as soon as possible.

Working on trainings and Youth Mental Health First Aid

Talking to my long list of students referred to the program


Lynden High School

Lynden High School 

Stories to share:

Holiday Fun:  Lynden High School has a long-standing traditional holiday hall decorating competition where the students create an amazing environment for everyone to enjoy.  As students and mentors met over the past 2 weeks, they enjoyed touring the halls and appreciating the creations.  It also provided some fun photo opportunities for those feeling festive! Several students enjoyed showing the portion of the hall they were involved in making with a sense of pride.  One explained to their mentor, “I did all the penguins in this hall and gave them all different personalities.”  The mentor enjoyed seeing their work and complementing their artistic ability!

Mentors Impact More than just one Student:  This month reminded me that a mentor’s influence goes beyond their one student, and can impact a whole peer group in a positive way.  Students confide in their mentors about difficult situations, and sometimes those situations involve friends they are worried about and trying to help, but don’t really know how or what to do.  A mentee shared with her mentor about two different friends who each had serious situations going on that required adult help and intervention.  The mentor was able to bring that information forward so staff could intervene in ways that supported the students in need without damaging the trusting relationship between the student and mentor.  Without the mentor listening and speaking up, this would not have happened.  So thankful for the wider impact mentors can have on the whole school.

The Gift of Ending Well:  Sometimes a mentoring relationship ends for one reason or another before the end of the school year.  Recently I coached the mentor and student through a closure process of saying goodbye well.  We tent to resist conversations that are difficult emotionally or potentially awkward, but lack of positive closure impacts the ability to trust in the future. Students need to know that relationships can change and end without it being negative or hurtful.  This mentor handled the situation beautifully by sharing fun memories they had together, praising the student’s strengths, and complimenting the student for participating in a difficult conversation.  She told me it was one of the best meetings they ever had!  I’m thankful for her being able to give the student a positive farewell.

Highlights of this month:

·         48 active matches; 5 students on waitlist

·         BTO Merch arrived! Students loved receiving their selected sweatshirt, shirt, hat, or beanie and proudly wore them right away!

·         December 1st:   Coral Bartlett presented on ACES to mentors; very impactful training for those who attended.  This was rescheduled from last month.

·         Dec. 2nd New Mentor Orientation—7 potential mentors attended

Upcoming:

·         New Mentor Orientation Jan. 19th, 11:00-1:00 pm at LMS

·         Saturday School:  Jan 7th Breakfast and Tutoring

·         End of semester 1 approaching—reworking mentor appointments for semester 2 based on student schedules.

Submitted by Lisa Reynolds

Copies to district admin, Partners for Schools, other mentor coordinators


Lynden Christian High School

Lynden Christian High School 

UPDATE:

As 2021 came to a close, I also closed out a match, but thankfully the match will continue on just not as part of the LC program.  At the beginning of the school year, two of our LC matches transitioned to “community” matches because both students transferred out of district. Both pairs wanted to keep meeting, but wanted help navigating meeting outside of school parameters.  In early December one of the pairs reached out to me and let me know that they were ready to go off on their own. This match was one of my very first when I started a few years ago at LC, so while it is hard to see them go I am excited for their friendship to continue to develop in new ways.

December brought some fun Christmas crafts, a birthday bouquet, joyful conversations, and budding mentor relationships.

UPDATES + UPCOMING PLANS:

  • Eight matches are meeting regularly.
  • Four students are on the wait list waiting for their right match, and 13 others have requested more information.
  • Putting up promo materials around school, meeting with district staff, and spreading the word to get new mentors for students waiting.
  • New semester starts late January- updating meeting times/ schedule checks
  • Handed out/ finish handing out new merch!!


Nooksack Valley High School

Nooksack Valley High School 

WINTER WINS

-Handing out merch to excited students who immediately changed into their new shirts/hoodies

-Attended several school events (Go Valley!) Please appreciate my purple mini foam finger (see photo below)

-Students are excited and anxious to be matched with a mentor
-Looking for mentors who are interested in horses, video games, RC cars, music, etc!

-Started a mentoring small group at middle and high school

-Had great conversations with parents explaining our program
 

DIFFERENT “YES”ES

This last month has been full of students saying “yes” to mentoring! Some are enthusiastic in their response “I don’t need a few days to think about it… I know that I want a mentor” and “can we start tomorrow”. Some respond in a shy and subtle manner with a simple “yes”. Some have taken a few months to decide before stopping by with an “okay I’m in”.
 

UPCOMING PLANS:

  • Semester changes at the end of January so schedules when our matches will meet for rest of school year
  • Paperwork is in!!! 12+ students will be matched with their mentor when we return to school in January!
  • Be seen by students, staff, parents and community members on campus and school events
  • Continue to hang posters in local businesses and community areas of Nooksack, Everson and Sumas

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