Mentoring at HCS
The Connecting Youth Mentor Program provides an adult mentor to 5th through 8th grade students who would benefit from an additional adult relationship in their life. Mentors are community volunteers who meet weekly for one hour, throughout the school year. This relationship develops into a trusted friendship that can make a real difference in a child's life.
How are kids chosen for this program?
Students are nominated by themselves, their teachers or parents simply because it is perceived that a mentor relationship may benefit the child. The simple, caring, and one-on-one attention from a mentor, one hour per week, is intended to supplement, not replace, the attention a child already receives.
What is the point of mentoring?
Mentoring provides an additional supportive relationship with an adult in a child’s school day. It does not take the place of important relationships a child has with teachers, parents, or other supportive adults; rather, this extra attention gives a student the opportunity to pursue something of his/her own choosing and to talk to someone else about school and life.
Who are the mentors?
Mentors are adults from our Hinesburg community who care to give an hour each week to meet with a middle school student. They are interested in providing a chance for one child to do, or to learn about, something of his or her own choosing. On the personal side, they are also interested in giving themselves a chance to get to know, and to learn from, a great kid from Hinesburg!
How are the mentors trained?
Mentors are interviewed and trained by the Mentor Coordinator, Ginny Roberts. The interview reveals the mentor’s interests, skills and experiences. Mentor training covers the mentor’s role, communication skills, school resources, strict confidentiality policy, and developmental information about middle school age children. An FBI background check is completed for all mentors prior to meeting with their mentees.
What do they do together?
Mentees and their mentors decide how they wish to spend their hour per week together, with the understanding that mentoring takes place only on school grounds. HCS has wonderful a Mentor Room full of games, crafts, puzzles and activities. Going outside is always an option and the kitchen is sometimes available for use. The Mentor Coordinator will work to provide pairs with whatever they need for their projects – or they can, and often do, just hang out and talk!
Can the parent meet the mentor?
Yes, indeed. Once a child is introduced to his/her mentor, a parent is encouraged to meet the mentor. The Mentor Coordinator is happy to arrange this.
When will the mentor and mentee meet?
Mentoring time is scheduled by the teacher, student, and Mentor Coordinator at a consistent time each week, with careful consideration not to interrupt instruction time whenever possible.
What if the child does not want to continue with this mentor?
At any time, for any reason, a child may choose not to continue with mentoring. An exit interview helps the Mentor Coordinator understand the reason.
Who are the kids in Hinesburg who needs a mentor?
All middle school kids, regardless of socio-economic background, after-school opportunities, or home life, can benefit from individual time spent with an adult. Children find it very empowering to have this time, during which they can decide what to do. Middle school children are learning who they are: what they like to do, what they are good at, what they like to learn, how they want to be treated, how they will act with others. Social dynamics are changing, as are their bodies, interests, and responsibilities. Mentoring gives students one more safe place to ask questions, pursue new interests, and consider different perspectives with a trusted adult friend.