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Be a mentor in January

ECO_007When: January 1-31

What: Although mentors can fill many roles for children in need, all mentors aim to help young people aspire to greater goals and ambitions in life. Unfortunately, there are 15 million children who either want or need mentors but don’t have one. To promote mentoring, January is National Mentor Month.

Background: Celebrating its 10th anniversary in 2011, National Mentoring Month was founded by the Harvard School of Public Health and MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership, which is an organization that promotes, advocates and is a resource for mentors and mentoring initiatives. The event aims to raise awareness and encourages adults to take on a mentoring role, ensuring a more positive future for young people in need.

Story Pitch: This event may appeal to educators who can campaign for more mentor volunteers. They can also build awareness of how mentors can help children be more successful in school and life. Organizations and government agencies focused on child welfare can also take advantage of National Mentoring Month. Groups aimed at keeping kids off the streets and off drugs can emphasize how a mentor can provide a young person with healthy after-school recreation.

Story Hook: According to MENTOR, studies have shown that youth mentoring can improve self-esteem, social skills and knowledge of career opportunities. What are the different kinds of mentoring programs that exist? Consider the following when making your pitch:

  • What are some different ways a mentor can interact with a child?
  • How can a business participate in a mentoring program?
  • In what ways has the Internet made long-distance mentoring possible?
  • How has mentoring impacted academic performance at schools?

Tips: Provide the contact information for a mentoring pair who can talk about how a mentoring program has benefitted the life of the child as well as the mentor. Educators can also speak on the significance of a mentor in a child’s life and how these relationships are valued by schools.

Resources:

Communities in Schools
(703) 518-2565
cis(at)cisnet.org
www.communitiesinschools.org

Mentor
(703) 224-2200
www.mentoring.org

Mentoring USA
(212) 400-8294
www.mentoringusa.org

National Mentoring Month
www.nationalmentoringmonth.org

–Researched, compiled & written by Katrina M. Mendolera
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