Starting in the fall of 2018, Grand Area Mentoring will introduce a program enhancement for students in grades seven through twelve. Schoolwork and social forces mount as adulthood approaches. Adolescents embark on important developmental stages that change their needs; by the time children reach seventh grade, school-based mentoring is no longer an optimal design.
This September, mentees enrolled in Grand Area Mentoring will have the option to graduate to a different style of mentoring at the middle school, one that reflects their elevated independence and burgeoning social awareness. Our new community-based mentoring component will allow exemplary, veteran mentors to meet one-on-one with their middle school and high school mentees at approved sites in the community. Through this project, we have an opportunity to capitalize on the strong mentoring relationships established through grade six.Placematters a great deal to children becoming more self-conscious and wrestling with identity formation. Rather than embark on a period of awkward transition away from mentoring, participating mentees can celebrate their perseverance with new privileges in grade seven.
Only mentors who have successfully served the program for two or more years will be permitted to meet one-on-one with their mentees in the community, and matches may meet only at approved sites in the community. Community-based mentor candidates must complete a second round of application requirements, including: written application, positive service evaluation, interview, training, reference check, and fingerprint background check.
Approved community-based mentoring sites include, among others:
- Grand County Public Library
- Moab area businesses, educational institutions, and organizations for the purpose of job shadowing or exploring post-secondary opportunities
- Moab area restaurants
- Moab Arts and Recreation Center
- Moab Recreation and Aquatic Center
- The Museum of Moab
- National and State Parks
- Utah Department of Workforce Services
These thirteen fruitful years of school-based mentoring have opened a door for Grand County School District. We identify at-risk students quickly, support them through their early years, and help them outperform goals set by experts in the field. Now, with a program enhancement, we can leverage this success to produce even more substantial gains.