For just one moment, think back to a time in your life when you were young and thought nobody was "on your side". When you questioned whether or not you would really be able to reach your dreams. Now close your eyes and picture someone in your life who reminded you that you could "make it". That you were special. And that you could succeed no matter what. When you open your eyes again, you probably have a clear image of that person - friend, relative, teacher, coach, etc., who was there for you, giving you consistent and reliable support. For many students in the Shelton Public School System, their images are of their "mentors" - caring men and women throughout the Greater Shelton area who volunteer their time to spend on hour each week during the school day at schools through the city. These dedicated individuals are the heart and soul of the Shelton Mentoring Program, and serve as positive role models for their mentees.
No prior experience is needed, other than the desire to help a child who is going through a difficult time in his or her young life. Mentees may be struggling academically and or socially in school, have a parent or sibling who is seriously ill, or just be children who need someone to talk to. Mentors and mentees come from all different walks of life, and come together to shoot hoops, read a story, or just share a laugh or two. Mentors are not tutors - although many of them do work on school projects or help their mentee with homework if their mentee asks them to. They are simply there to be a friend to a child in need.
The mentor/mentee commitment is for the school year - and, if successful, may continue for as long as the mentor has the availability to work with his/her mentee. Many mentors in the program have been together for 3, 4, or 5 years... some since early elementary school. The mentor program coordinator provides an initial training session for new mentors in the program, and follows up with e-mails and telephone contact with mentors throughout the year.
There are more than 30 children currently on our waiting list - hoping for someone like you to come into their lives. So why no take the time to learn more about how you can become a mentor in the Shelton Public Schools? Your mentee is waiting for you. And, for an hour each week, you can make a difference in the life of a child that can last a lifetime!
For more information, please contact:
Valerie Knight-Di Gangi
Mentor Program Coordinator
phone: 924-1023 ext. 336