Addison Northwest School District is currently seeking caring adult mentors for a new program beginning in the Fall of 2022 at the Vergennes Union Elementary School.

Addison Northwest School District is currently seeking caring adult mentors for a new program beginning in the Fall of 2022 at the Vergennes Union Elementary School.

Mentoring is an important component of positive youth development, promoting academic success, engagement in extracurriculars, and connections to new opportunities. Mentoring programs give us each a chance to contribute to the youth in our communities.

Did you know, based on MENTOR Vermont’s survey of youth mentees:
86.5% of mentees in Vermont reported that “having a mentor has made a difference in their life”
In Vermont, 86.6% of mentors reported playing one or more direct role in their mentee’s education:
“talking with them about the importance of school”
“helping them with their homework”
“communicating with their teacher or guidance counselor”
“talking with them about their options after high school”
Mentoring in a “program that has an educational component”
95.9% of Vermont mentors say they “would recommend becoming a mentor to a friend, family member, or colleague”

One in three young people in America are growing up without a mentor outside their family. By growing the mentoring movement, we aim to grow young people’s access to caring adult mentors and increase the number of caring adults per child.

The new school-based mentor program, Vergennes Mentors, was created to fill a need for today’s youth; seeking to create 1:1 mentoring relationships between adult community members with VUES students. With the vision that all students are healthy, productive, and contributing members of the school and greater community. We hope to provide students with an opportunity for a one-to-one friendship with a safe, positive, responsible, attentive, nurturing adult mentor to share life skills, enjoy common interests, and grow together.

Vergennes Union Elementary School has been able to implement this initiative as a recipient of a Community Schools award of what is anticipated will be a three-year grant period.

Community Schools serve as resource hubs that provide a broad range of easily accessed, well-coordinated supports and services that help students and families with increasingly complex needs. This three-year federally-funded grant program supports Vermont schools and community partners to develop, expand, and sustain a community school model that demonstrates five pillars outlined in the legislation: integrated student supports, expanded and enriched learning time and opportunities, active family and community engagement, collaborative leadership and practices, and safe, inclusive, and equitable learning environments.

The Community School Act of 2021 states that:
Every child should be provided with an equitable education, as defined by the Agency of Education as access to the resources, opportunities, and educational rigor they need at the right moment in their education, whatever their race, gender identity, sexual orientation, ethnicity, religion, language, disability, family background, or family income may be. Every child should be able to grow up with the opportunity to achieve their dreams and contribute to the well-being of society. Our public schools must be designed and equipped to fully deliver on that promise.

Community schools are important centers for building community connection and resilience. In addition to improving educational outcomes for learners, this grant will allow for further efforts to support student’s social-emotional health, increase access to health services, and increase family engagement through mentoring and other youth/adult programming.

For those interested in participating in the Vergennes Mentors program, fill out the initial Mentor Inquiry Form and a representative from the mentor program will be in touch with you for next steps. Volunteers are carefully screened, interviewed, and trained by program staff. They must be at least 18 years old and pass the background check.

You will meet with your matched student, a minimum of one hour a week for the duration of the school year. Most meet-ups will occur during the student’s lunch break, enrichment hour, before or after school and typically involve eating lunch together, playing games, simply talking, or helping with homework. We want to give mentees consistency, encouragement and a non-judgmental space for them to grow, so we are asking mentors to sign an agreement to work with students for one school year to provide consistency for the children.

The pool of mentors is very diverse, as long as the mentor is over 18, they can be business owners, police officers, stay-at-home parents, educators, and many more community members as mentors. Everyone has something valuable to give back. We are looking for a variety of mentors because we serve a variety of kids.

For more information, contact Lynne Rapoport, [email protected]
ANWSD Community Coordinator for Health and Wellness
Vergennes Mentors, Program Coordinator

Name of program: Vergennes Mentors
Type of mentoring relationships: School-Based (Youth-Adult)
Age range of youth participants: 5 – 12; grades K-6
Minimum age to be a mentor in this program: 18
Minimum length of time commitment for mentors: 1 school year
Minimum regular contact time between mentor and mentee: 1 hour a week
Program Coordinator: Lynne Rapoport
Program Coordinator Email: [email protected]

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Addison Northwest School District is currently seeking caring adult mentors for a new program beginning in the Fall of 2022 at the Vergennes Union Elementary School.

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