“60 In 60” Recruitment Drive for mentors for students under way

Making a difference in a child’s life can be as simple as sharing a half hour to an hour of your week with a Kenosha Unified student. The Kenosha Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) has launched a new mentor recruitment drive, hoping to encourage more people to do just that. Called “60 in 60,” it aims to add sixty new mentors to their program by December 8th, and to help get children off of the waiting lists at schools that have one.

Mentoring takes place once a week, and volunteers are able to choose any grade level from Kindergarten to eighth, at any KUSD school. All of the mentoring takes place at the school of their choice, during school hours. While mentors can do some tutoring during weekly sessions if they‘d like, that’s not the aim of the program. It’s meant to provide children with a caring, supportive adult who will be a stable role model in the student’s life, a vital element that may be lacking in some children‘s lives. Program coordinators provide orientation for those interested in becoming a mentor, and ongoing training is available at UW-Parkside several times a year (though it is not mandatory). Experienced mentors are also available to help get new volunteers started and to provide ideas and advice.

Darleen Coleman, RSVP director, said that sometimes mentors may question whether they can truly make an impact on a student’s life. She tells the story of one volunteer who, years after mentoring, ran into a student they had been paired with. Now a young adult, the young man said that some advice the volunteer had given him about making wise choices had really stuck with him. One night, when a group of friends he was with were about to get into trouble that could possibly land them in jail, he explained that the mentor’s words had come back to him, and he decided not to go along with the group. He credited the mentor’s influence with helping him to make good choices as he got older. A great example, Coleman says, of how mentors may never know the full extent of the positive effect they have.

For more information on the RSVP mentor program and how you can get involved, contact Janet Koroscik, Mentor Liaison, at mentors.rsvp@gmail.com, or Darleen Coleman, RSVP Director, at rsvp@kafasi.org. You may also call (262) 658-3508, extension 115.

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