January is “National Mentor Month!” There are great opportunities for caring people to become mentors right here in our South Kingstown Schools. South Kingstown CARES is a non-profit agency with a Mentor Program which supports students from kindergarten through twelfth grades who can benefit from a responsible adult to be a friend. We train mentors to meet with students up to one hour per week on school grounds. Mentors’ schedules, vacations and best days to meet are considered when making a match to a student. Mentoring does not involve summer months or school vacations. The mentor role is not advisory nor academic. It is simply to be a friend with an open mind and to share interests and activities with young people.
According to a recent National Mentoring survey, one third of our nation’s young people are growing up without a mentor. For young people who face a variety of risk factors that could lead them to become disconnected from school and work, the mentoring effect is linked to significant positive outcomes:
52% are less likely than their peers to skip a day of school
55% are more likely to be enrolled in college
46% are less likely than their peers to start using drugs
81% are more likely to participate regularly in sports or extracurricular activities
78% are more likely to volunteer regularly in their communities
130% are more than twice as likely to say that they held a leadership position in a club or sports team
90% of respondents said they are interested in becoming mentors
Mentoring helps students reach their full potential. Currently, the mentor program has twenty unfilled requests from teachers, principals and families. If you are inspired to become a mentor, please call the CARES office, 360-1304 or complete an application online at skcares.org. You may see the reminder banner posted at Belmont’s this month. I look forward to hearing from our caring church community in the coming weeks!
Debra Zepp, SK CARES Mentor Coordinator