The mentoring program at Cazenovia Middle School will be expanding operations this year. A new schedule of activities will be made available to participants throughout January, February, and March. Program coordinator and middle school guidance counselor, Jennifer Glasgow, described the program as a positive outlet for students who wish to develop a closer connection to the school.
“It is not uncommon for mentor program alumni to return to us as young adults and thank mentors for all they did for them as middle school students,” Glasgow said, “The Middle School faculty, staff and administration is a wonderful group of people who continually volunteer to be a part of this program and make a difference in the life of a child. I am honored to work with them.”
In the 17 years that the program has been run, countless students and faculty members have benefited. This year, 30 student mentees have been paired with 30 school personnel members and 4 high school student mentors. The pairs meet once a week to talk, participate in fun activities like bowling or just to help with homework.
Recently, Glasgow and her “Care Team” have developed a new set of activities and programs the young students can do with their mentors. Six faculty volunteers have worked closely with the Care Team and some interesting ideas have been produced. Over the course of three months, small groups of mentors and mentees will attend interest-rich workshops put on by members of the faculty.
Technology Teacher of the Year Chris Hurd will host the program “Got Electronics?” where he will introduce participants to high-tech gadgets and computer programs. Fellow tech teacher, Jason Hyatt, will educate participating groups about rocket science and how to build a small scale rocket from a kit, culminating with a launching ceremony in March. Foreign language teacher, Debbie Taube, will conduct a scrap-booking class, helping both students and mentors to create colorful books that can display their favorite memories.
Deb Fernan, supervisor for advanced meals, plans to instruct a class titled “Top Chef” where she will teach students and faculty about making the right food choices and how to create healthy meals. For the more musically inclined participants, one of the middle school music teachers, Todd Macreery, will lead informational lessons about music technology and theory. Math teacher Joy Springs, will conduct a course titled “Bling” where she will help the mentors and mentees to create pieces of jewelry that they can wear and share.
In addition to the newly planned “mini activities” the Middle School Mentoring Program takes its members on monthly outings. Past group activities include ice skating at Morrisville College’s IcePlex, completing a rope course at Cazenovia College, decking the halls with festive decorations around school and trips to Caz Sports Bowl for bowling parties.
In 2005, middle school Art Teacher Susan Johnson began helping the mentoring program construct their family tree. Seventh-grade students that are moving on to the high school, as well as their mentors, each craft a leaf from copper and brass and every year a new branch is added to the tree.
Along with a leaf on the family tree, every May the seventh-grade students are invited to the Linklaen House for dinner and an etiquette lesson. Sponsored by the PTA, the children are encouraged to dress up and receive tips regarding formal conduct as well as table manners.
Those interested in joining the program, or learning more, can contact Jennifer Glasgow at the Cazenovia Middle School guidance office, or by calling 655-1315.