January 28 , 2021 The Beacon • 13
January marks Mentoring Month
By Marianne Austin
January is National Mentoring Month , an annual nationwide campaign designed to promote job possibilities for young people through mentors who impact their lives in a positive way .
Six years ago Gov . John Kasich was looking for adults who would reach out to students through the Community Connectors Grant . The governor created the Community Connectors program as a key initiative to foster increased student mentorship . Since its inception in 2014 , Community Connectors projects have provided mentoring opportunities to more than 100,000 students across Ohio .
In 2016-17 alone , volunteer mentors provided more than 500,000 mentoring contact hours . In total , 51 of 88 counties are , or have been , home to one or more Community Connectors Grants .
“ We encourage more community partners to get involved and help students understand the importance of the choices they make and guide them in planning for what will come after high school ,” said Paolo DeMaria , superintendent of public instruction .
First Step Family Violence Intervention Services has designed a mentoring program to help students get involved with local businesses and volunteers within the community to prepare them for their future . Students are referred to the program by principals , teachers , school counselors and parents in all three local school districts .
It was designed to prepare students for 21st-century job opportunities with specific program areas such
as building character , developing pathways to achievement , building resiliency , believing in a positive future , and preparing for college and job readiness .
Thirty to 40 local businesses and agencies have volunteered their time to present different opportunities to students to develop an interest after graduation . The students learn the qualifications and education that is needed for the job they are interested in or want to pursue .
Sometimes students don ’ t know what they want to do when they grow up . Through this program they learn the steps needed for the job they are interested in . College isn ’ t always for everyone . There are good jobs available , for example , a speech pathologist , a physical therapist or a phlebotomist , explained Robin Snider , prevention education coordinator for First Step .
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic , there are safety protocols that must be followed . Therefore , at this time , only presenters are permitted . Currently , the mentoring club through the Beyond the Bell , 21st Century Program is available to students at Ridgewood Middle School grade 4-7 and is held Tuesdays from 3-4 p . m .
The purpose of the Beyond the Bell program is to support student learning and development by providing homework help , academic intervention enrichment , ACT prep and clubs that connect kids and families to their school and community .
River View ’ s program , “ Who Wants to be a Millionaire ,” is offered to students grade 7-8 on Wednesdays from 3-4 p . m .
RVHS seniors work on projects
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The River View junior varsity cheerleaders helped Riley Roberts with her senior project . They are pictured in front of Roberts ’ bulletin board explaining the project : Olivia Batten , left , Brianna Karr , Bree Washington , Abby Wright and Lynn Anker .
The COVID-19 pandemic hasn ’ t stopped River View High School seniors from working on their projects .
The River View junior varsity cheerleaders helped Riley Roberts with her senior project .
Roberts ’ project is improving citizenship in the schools . One activity
was giving Christmas cards to people she did not know at basketball games because a good citizen is compassionate . She challenged these people to pay it forward and do the same .
Due to COVID protocols , Roberts could not attend the games . The cheerleaders volunteered to distribute the
Seniors Trinitee Marshall and Kaitlyn Hammons decided they wanted to continue a meal-delivery project started at River View . They are shown with mentors Jovie Metz , Michelle Lauvray and Kem Bosley as they were loading up the meals on Dec . 23 .
cards for her as their part of good citizenship .
For the second year , a River View senior project has two senior girls shopping , cooking and delivering approximately 42 meals to shut-ins for Thanksgiving , Christmas and Easter .
Trinitee Marshall and Kaitlyn Hammons decided
they wanted to continue the project . Meals included ham , scalloped potatoes , green-bean casserole , cranberry salad , homemade rolls and gingerbread cake . Also included were fruit and cheese boxes . This project is real life learning and gives back to the community .
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