FAQ About Mentoring
Your site coordinator should contact you once they have had a chance to get organized for the new school year. This typically occurs within one to two weeks after the first day of school – by Labor Day at the latest. If you are not contacted by your site coordinator in a timely manner, please call the CIS main office at 242-1520.
Yes and no. Students are first referred to CIS by teachers and administrators who identify them based on certain criteria placing them at risk for failure in school. After they are referred, students, along with their families, must agree to be part of CIS and confirm their willingness to participate.
We ask new mentors to commit to one hour a week for one school year. Many stay on much longer than one year with the same student (some of our mentors have started with elementary-age students and eventually watched them graduate!), but this is not required or expected.
Change takes time and it is important to know that you may never see your student make drastic changes in their behavior as a result of the few hours a month that you spend with them. Your presence IS a positive force in your student’s life and you are making a difference, even if the impact you have on them is never apparent to you.
Your site coordinator has access to information about your student’s grades and familial structure. As a mentor, you should receive regular updates in these areas from your site coordinator, as they may be relevant for your interactions with your student. This information is confidential and must not be shared with anyone outside of the school environment.
Absolutely not. The goal of the CIS mentor is to simply be a friend to a child in need. That can mean anything from listening to a funny story about her dog or asking about what she did the previous weekend, to offering advice on the best ways to study for a history test. As a mentor it’s not your job to fix big problems in your student’s life; it’s your job to be an encouraging, stable presence in spite of those problems.