The month of March was unprecedented in our time. School closed suddenly at the end of the day on March 13th. Kids and staff were told at the end of the day there would be no school for 6 weeks. Later, the announcement came that schools would be closed for the remainder of the year. For our schools in Lynden, the mentoring program stopped, and connection became hindered. Lisa and I have been able to make contact with mentors but contacting students and matching them up to their mentors in some capacity has proven to be a challenge.
Stories to Share
Connection by Phone
Before the break came, when Covid-19 was just starting to come to the US, we had a mentor who was vacationing in Italy when the outbreak happened. They flew home and were required to stay in quarantine for 14 days. It had been three weeks since the mentor had seen his student and he hoped to connect with him soon. So, one day I called the mentor and allowed the student talk on the phone to him. I left the room and figured they might talk for about 15 minutes. I returned to find the pair in a deep conversation. They ended up talking for about an hour non-stop. This was so great to see, because this student really needed someone to talk to.
A Perfect Match
I made a match in March that was excellent. The girl I was matching was insecure and had a low self-esteem. She told me she did not know how anyone would like to hang out with her, but she was willing to try meeting with someone. I had a mentor who just had her student change schools, but she was willing to step up and help another girl. I matched the two and allowed them to sit and chat for an hour. Like many other matches they really hit it off. They both stated to me how much they like the other and when I mentioned this to the girl she was so joyful.
Mentoring Update at the Lynden Middle School:
- 45 active matches at the middle school
- 1 match made in the month of March
- 6 students were on my wait list when we closed in March. I was unable to match them in time. Hopefully I can in the fall (3 girls/3 boys)
- New Mentors: We had 2 new mentors come through training right before we closed in March. I will be conducting interviews over Zoom.
- Our new goal is connecting students and mentors for the remainder of the school year.
- Lisa and I will be continuing to work on our Policy and Procedure Manual. Our goal is to finish it by the end of the year. We have been making good progress this month.
- We were thinking it might be good to try and do an online Youth Mental Health First Aid class through Zoom possibly.
- Ongoing support towards other school districts with the BE THE ONE Program.