The month of September was rough in terms of mentoring at LMS. Kids were extremely hard to locate and communicate with at the beginning, which meant pairs were not meeting. On top of that, both students and mentors were having technology issues creating a big problem when ZOOM was our only option for one-on-one connection. However, the month of October has been a bright spot in our mentoring program. There are still similar issues with technology, but pairs are beginning to meet regularly. In the month of September, we had a total of only 6 mentoring hours recorded. However, in the month of October that number increased to 50 total hours. Even greater, students and mentors have started seeing each other in person at the school. Pairs are seeing each other for the first time in many months.
Stories to Share
One pair saw each other over ZOOM for the first time this school year. Normally, this would not be a big deal, except for the fact that they have not connected, face-to-face, for 245 days. They have not seen each other since mid-February. This reunion was a great testament to how valuable the mentor relationship is to both parties. I have seen students get so excited when they see their mentors for the first time in a long while. Likewise, mentors are extremely grateful to see their students. There is definitely not a shortage of things to talk about when they are reunited.
Fighting a Pandemic with Sports
Our district has graciously allowed mentoring pairs to meet in-person on campus. Everyone is following protocols set in place with safety as a top priority. When pairs meet, they are required to wear masks and maintain a distance of 6 feet. This month I have had 2 creative mentors suggest they do outside activities. One pair decided to play catch with a baseball. The other two played pickleball on our tennis courts. These were activities that put the mentor and student at a safe distance but allowed good conversations. The creative mentors in our program never cease to amaze me.
Mentoring Update by the Numbers at LMS:
- 20 active matches at the middle school
- 1 match ended this month, because the student left our district.
- 18 out of 20 matches have connected this fall in-person or on ZOOM
- Getting the program up and running with ZOOM calls and a select number of in-person meetings. Our school will be possibly moving to a hybrid model soon and again I will need to adjust the mentoring program to fit our school’s schedule.
- Lisa and I have paused on our work with the Policy and Procedure Manual for now.
Report submitted by Brian Clemmer
- To Partners for Schools board members via Nancy McHarness
- Other copies submitted to: Molly Mitchell-Mumma, Cyndi Selcho, Robert Kratzig, David Vanderyacht, Jim Frey, Lisa Reynold, Annie Anderson, Jim Schmotzer, Stacy Martin, Doug De Vries
Be the One Community Mentor Coordinator @ Lynden Middle School