Stories to share:
It’s wonderful to hear when mentors and students develop a life-long friendship, and I heard an update from one pair recently. This student and mentor met in middle school and stayed together through her graduation in 2018. Now the young lady is attending WWU and she still wants to meet her mentor for breakfast each week. She has reached out to maintain their relationship as a young adult and still sees her mentor as an important support person.
Mentors and students are usually eager to reconnect after not seeing each other during the summer months when school is closed. This fall they are even more excited as some have not seen each other since last March. One young man answered immediately when I told him I was trying to get a time for them to meet. It took about a week of phone calls with all the parties to get them connected in person. Every day the young man messaged me: “When do we get to meet! I’m so excited!” When they did see each other, he pretty much talked non-stop the whole hour. At the end of their time, he said, “I can’t wait until next week!”
This fall has required more parent outreach in trying to connect with students since they aren’t on campus. In phone conversations, several parents have said how important the mentor is to their student’s life and have been willing to go to great lengths to make it possible for them to meet in person and maintain this supportive connection.
We had our first online training for mentors on September 22: all four school coordinators collaborated for a welcome back message which included numerous ideas for zoom meetings and virtual activities. Right after the training, I had a mentor and student who played online Uno over their zoom meeting and had a great time!
Fall Start Up:
- School started for students on September 8th (virtual, online learning with live broadcasts from teachers)
- Our district is in a much better place than last spring: laptops issued to students and district support in getting internet connection to families who struggled last year; more training for teachers
- Focus on Social/Emotional Learning this year
- New at LHS: Advisory Period for all students and Character Strong Curriculum to support this focus
Working on contacting all mentors/mentees from last year, including 8th graders who are now LHS students
- Focusing on reconnecting matches: email, zoom meeting, and in person options
- Some students have moved out of district or changed schools
- Some mentors have had to step down due to health, job changes, or the need to teach their own children at home
- 11 matches have been able to meet in person or via zoom this past week.
- More connections scheduled as we move into October
Future online training and collaboration on Diversity for Mentors
Supporting Lynden Christian’s Be the One launch by training their coordinator