The presence of our Mentoring Program has dramatically expanded this fall in the two Clark County school districts it is currently working with.
We now have an office on campus at Tecumseh Middle School, a district we have been working with for five years. Meanwhile, the new mentoring program in Greenon Local Schools has launched this fall with eight volunteer mentors already working with students.
Tecumseh Local Schools was awarded wellness funding by Governor Mike DeWine’s office that was earmarked to increase mental health services and emotional learning. Each school in the state got funding, but the amount was according to demonstrated need. That funding has enabled our Mentoring Program Director, Julie Driskill, to spend most of her weekday mornings at the middle school working with students and staff.
“It was money that they weren’t expecting,” said Driskill. “One of the requirements was
they had to partner with a non-profit. We had been partnering with them already, so they chose us.”
Driskill feels her on-campus presence is making a big difference in the lives of Tecumseh’s students.
“Being there is really important because you feel more like a part of the team,” she said. “You understand what’s going on better, you can get a better feel for students’ needs, you can coordinate onsite with guidance counselors. It helps me to keep a closer eye on the mentoring program.”
Driskill is already seeing examples of the positive impact.
“(Recently) a girl that I taught at the JDC (Clark County Juvenile Detention Center) through the summer program was released and enrolled at Tecumseh,” she recalled. “I saw her walking down the hall and we ended up getting her a mentor. I can check on her every day and see how she is doing, see if she is having any problems. I can better support the kids when they are there and be a support for the administration as well.”
The Greenon mentoring program is starting with groups of 4-5 students in 4th and 5th grade during their lunch period, working through activities in the Discovery Series Rewriting Futures workbook and then discussing them.
“Overall, we have about eight mentors ready to go and four or five more who are closer to being ready,” said Bryan Moore, FYI’s Greenon Mentoring Program Coordinator. “We will talk about things like dreaming, building relationships, leadership and how to make good decisions. The activities are fun and engaging and keep them from getting bored.”
There are also a few mentors going into the middle school and high school, working with a student in a one-on-one setting and using the Path Elements Curriculum.
“This is when the mentor and student begin to bond,” said Moore. “Some of the mentors will do other activities and projects like scrap booking, building model cars or playing the guitar.”
The key to the success of the program is the mentors and having enough of them. “We need more for Greenon and Tecumseh, roughly 20 in each school district,” said Moore.
If you are interested in mentoring and can volunteer just one hour per week, call the FYI office at 937-845-0403 or click the link below to join our mission. Help us help our kids!