Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Mentoring the Future

"A lot of people have gone further than they thought they could because someone else thought they could"  (Unknown Source).  Big Brothers/Big Sisters and the Edna McConnel Clark Foundation have extensive reports that statistically demonstrate the success of mentorship programs.  In accordance with the Somerville Board of Education Strategic Goal #1, the district has launched a homegrown student mentorship program.  The purpose of the program is to mitigate the disaffection of students by providing mentors to serve as positive role models.

Hal Vereen was hired by Board of Education in February to spearhead and oversee the district mentorship initiative.  Mr. Vereen, a retired Somerville Public Schools educator and administrator, has a lengthy and successful history of mentoring children.  He provides mentoring through Big Brothers/Big Sisters, MentorPower and the Mercer County Correction Facility Prison Ministry.  He also serves as the president of the Eggerts Crossing Civic League and presents workshops on the Traits of Good Fatherhood.  Mr. Vereen will train and provide ongoing support for each mentor.  All mentors will be provided with the Building Relationships Guide for New Mentors, developed by the National Mentoring Center at Northwest Regional Educational Laboratory.

The Somerville Board of Education will measure the success of the program through use of a longitudinal quasi-experimental study.  The goal of the program is for students to improve academically, social-emotionally and behaviorally as well as increased participation in after school activities.

Do you have two hours a month to mentor an at-risk child?  We need YOU and s/he needs YOU!  "We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give" (Winston Churchill).

Applications can be found on the district website or by clicking here.  Thanks for your service and continued support of the children of Somerville Public Schools.

"Be the change you wish to see in the world"
~ Gandhi
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