Last year, 26 children in the Baldwinsville School District were fortunate to have an adult mentor working with them once a week throughout the school year. Even though they met for only 30 minutes, school staff reported that the students showed an increase in self esteem, positive attitude, motivation, focus, academic growth, enthusiasm and self confidence.
There is a need for many more mentors for the 2009-10 school year. If you would like to make a difference in the life of a child, please contact Nancy Conley at the Baldwinsville Volunteer Center at 638-0251 for more information about this rewarding and beneficial program.
For elementary school age children, mentors typically spend about a half-hour a week and the time may include playing games, reading, working on a class project or just listening and talking. For sixth to eighth graders, mentors may help with social skills, organization, staying on task, motivation, encouragement and occasional homework.
Research studies have shown students who meet regularly with their mentors are 52 percent less likely than their peers to skip a day of school and 37 percent less likely to skip a class. They are also 46 percent less likely to start using illicit drugs and 27 percent less likely to start drinking.
The Baldwinsville Volunteer Center mobilizes people and resources to fulfill needs within the community. Its programs include transporting senior citizens; the Christmas Bureau, which provides food and gifts to families and elderly shut-ins; mentoring school children; promoting community involvement and opportunities for youth, and an information and referral help line to let people know about community resources and promote volunteer opportunities. For more information on the Volunteer Center, please visit bvillevolunteers.org or call 638-0251.