Archive for November, 2010
Recruiting male mentors is one of the biggest challenges programs report. The majority of mentors have always been female while the majority of youth in need of a mentor have been male. Programs have learned that traditional recruitment techniques do not seem to motivate the male audience to become mentors. In order for children to have stable mentors in their lives the methods for recruiting men must change. Mentor Michigan has developed free resources for programs to use!
Visit www.Mentormichigan.org to download all of the Men and Mentoring tools and presentations.
Because of the Mentor Michigan tools and the structured mentoring activities we provide, 52% of Winning Futures’ mentors are men! www.WinningFutures.org
In our Winning Futures mentoring program, all of our mentees complete a profile sheet that we use to match them with mentors and to provide to the mentor so they get to know the student better. This focuses more on their interests versus a case file. It has the fun things mentors and mentees can use to build a relationship.
We now have the mentors completing a profile sheet with their photo on it to give to the mentees before the match begins. This has really helped our mentees become even more excited and feel more relaxed when they meet their mentors.
For our schools, we then create a binder of all of the mentor profile sheets for the main office, security, and the teachers we work with. It is a great way to promote the wonderful people who volunteer in the school, but also is helpful for security purposes. We also share this with our board of directors.
Visit our website to download a blank Mentor Profile Sheet to use in your program, along with sample of a completed one. http://www.winningfuturesbooks.org/private/index.php
In every Winning Futures meeting/class, we start with our “Good News” activity. We lay the ground work at the beginning of the year by stating that we know standing up in front of a group can be scary, awkward, and unnerving. That is why our “Number One” rule is “Respect for all Speakers” no matter if it is an adult or student. If someone is speaking, everyone in the room is to stay quiet with no side talking, snickering, or comments.
We ask anyone with something positive to share to please stand, say their first and last name, and tell us their good news. We allot up to 3 minutes for people to share. If you have mentors or adult volunteers, ask them to also share to help get things going each time.
We then close each class with a “Stand and Share” where mentees again stand, say their first and last name, and one thing they learned or liked about the class. We coach the students to be Loud and Proud by speaking up and making sure everyone can hear them.
I will let you that at the beginning of the year, it is sometimes like pulling teeth to have students volunteer. Through role modeling and encouraging students we know have good news to share, soon we have too many people wanting to speak!
Many teachers we work with have begun incorporating this into their daily classes and they have seen a tremendous difference in their participation as a whole in class and the respect level between the students.