May has been encouraging for the mentoring program at the middle school. After seeing such a drop off after the school year abruptly ended, mentoring has begun again. Now mentors are seeing their students through Zoom, which has given new life to the mentoring program in Lynden. It’s not perfect and it’s not convenient but mentoring through Zoom has give some students and adults a small taste of “normal” life. Other mentors are finding joy in sending their students cards and small gifts to show that they care.
Stories to Share
Opening Up: One student was not one who usually got into deep conversations. While she and her mentor met during the school year, they would look at books and talk about surface-level things. Anytime a deeper conversation would arise, she would quickly change the subject. Over Zoom, the pair has been forced to face each other and talk. To the mentor’s surprise the girl is opening up more and talking about difficult things. It seems like the girl feels safer talking to the mentor though a screen instead of in person. After the first ZOOM call the mentor told me the girl opened up more than ever. They have continued to meet weekly.
In Need of a Friend: One student was so excited when I offered him a change to see his mentor face to face. He was first in line and I told the mentor who was excited as well. The two met and talked for an hour straight. The student mentioned how happy he was to talk to his mentor face-to-face, because “he was feeling quite lonely.” The boy has not been able to see his friends, because his mom is an “essential worker.” These mentors and their students are forming friendships that will shape their lives for years to come.
Mentoring Update at the Lynden Middle School:
- 45 active matches at the middle school
- 3 students on the wait list for next year
- Finishing out the school year with some Zoom calls
- Lisa and I have paused on our work with the Policy and Procedure Manual. Our new goal is to finish it by the end of the calendar year 2020.
- Ongoing support towards other school districts with the BE THE ONE Program.