How is mentoring different than volunteering?
The Mentor Denton ISD program is for any person who is willing to provide a child with support, friendship and a constructive example through one-on-one meetings each week. Our volunteer program is focused on providing volunteers for events, such as Read Across America or Career Days, as well as for large group or classroom support.
Who are mentors?
Community volunteers willing to share their time and expertise with an interested student are recruited to serve as mentors. The volunteers must complete an application and undergo a background and reference check. Some mentoring relationships last for many years, others do not. Mentors and mentees meet each week for 30-60 minutes, with an hour being ideal. DISD staff will work with the mentor to find the most convenient time for the meetings. The mentorship will continue for the entire academic year, unless extenuating circumstances arise. Most mentors develop relationships with the students and want to see them continue to succeed. We encourage mentors to follow their mentees to the next grade level as they progress through school.
Does mentoring make a difference?
All children have the potential to succeed in life and contribute to society. However, not all children get the support they need to thrive. Mentoring benefits youth in many ways such as:
- Improving self-esteem
- Keeping young people in school
- Helping to improve academic skills
- Leading young people to resources they might not find on their own
- Providing support for new behaviors, attitudes and ambitions
- Increasing young people's ability to seek and keep jobs
Do I need special skills to be a mentor?
Many of our mentors have no previous teaching experience. The most effective mentors are those who are patient, committed, and willing to listen to their mentee. Mentoring volunteers do not need to be perfect, rich, or a superstar. Mentors simply need to be willing to help a young person by being a consistent, caring adult; someone who will help them problem solve, practice good communication and introduce them to new experiences and ideas.
What do students do with their mentors?
Students can work with their mentors on academics, focusing on homework or assignments, or reading fluency. In addition, they can also talk about school and life, set goals, or play strategic board and card games.
Who can participate as a mentee?
Students in grades Pre-K through 12th who have been recommended by teachers, parents and principals based on academic achievement, social/emotional needs, socio-economic status, at-risk status, or parent/guardian request.