What does a L.O.V.E. Mentor do?
Teachers identify students who might benefit from a mentor's support and these students are assigned to a mentor. The mentor goes to the school, takes their student out of the classroom and helps that student for about an hour each week. Mentors usually do this work in the school's library/ resource center. Depending on the teacher's assessment, a mentor's focus might be reading, math, spelling or building vocabulary. L.O.V.E. provides training, materials and the support of an experienced L.O.V.E. Site Director.
What kind of commitment do I need to make?
Anyone over the age of 18 can be a mentor. You will need to fill out our Volunteer Form (click here) and have a background check as well as attend one of our orientation sessions. Once assigned to a school, you will be contacted by the L.O.V.E. Site Director for specific directions. Schools are assigned based on need and availability. Students are identified by teachers and guidance counselors.
How do I become a Mentor?
Mentors do not need teaching experience. The most important attributes of a mentor are reliability and dependability. What these children need most is for you to meet them at school week after week and be positive influence in their lives. A mentor's focus is based on your skills and comfort, as well as the students' needs. It may include reading, building vocabulary, playing games to help with math or reading concepts, or just encouraging conversation and study skills.
Do I need teaching experience?
Is there training to be a Mentor?
L.O.V.E. has a training team consisting of experienced educators that offers training sessions as well as tips and suggestions to our mentors. There is also a Site Director at each school for coaching, training and assistance. Additionally, we provide our mentors with a mentor buddy, bags, training materials and appropriate-level books for students. Twice each school year we have a relevant speaker come and talk to our group and we have a book fair with free books.
Often new mentors become overly concerned with seeing improvement in grades or skills. The most important thing we can do as mentors, however, is show up each week and be a consistent and positive influence to our mentees. Mentors plant seeds of confidence and learning - each child blooms individually. It is L.O.V.E.'s goal that all students realize their potential and gain improved self-confidence in the classroom.
What if I don't see my mentee improve?
Can I work with the same child year after year?
Mentors work with their assigned mentees for 1 hour per week (the same day and time each week -- a time established based on your availability and that of the students). Mentoring starts in September or October and lasts through May. Most mentors will work with one or two children. We do not mentor during the weeks of public school standardized testing, school holidays or during the summer. L.O.V.E. realizes that mentors will occasionally miss a week due to travel or family obligations.
Many of our mentors have "followed" their mentees year after year as they have built a rapport with them. This all depends on the schedules of the student and mentor as well as the student's ongoing needs.