February 7, 2017

The Education Foundation of Alachua County’s Take Stock in Children program is looking for volunteer mentors!

Take Stock in Children provides support to low-income, at-risk students in our community by providing them with case management, academic support, and a volunteer mentor. If the students maintain academic standards, stay drug-and crime-free and meet with their mentor regularly, then upon graduation from high school, they receive a college scholarship. Over the past few years, this program has grown to include over 330 students. Students enrolled in Take Stock in Children have a 96% high school graduation rate!

One of the biggest and most important components of Take Stock in Children is our mentors. We ask our mentors to visit their students on school property (typically during the student’s lunch or sometimes before school if it works for the student and mentor’s schedule) once per week or at least 3 times per month. Meetings typically last 30 minutes.

We try to maintain a balance between letting the mentors develop their own personal relationship with their student and providing materials to support the mentor/student relationship. For instance, mentors are provided with training, tool kits and activities they can to do with their students, but they aren’t required to do those specific activities. Take Stock in Children mentors aren’t tutors (although we do provide them with their student’s report card each 9 weeks) but we do want them to support their student in academics, since this program results in a college scholarship. At the core, mentors are there to be a stable adult in the student’s life. To let that student know that they are there for them, help them navigate middle and high school, both socially and academically.

If this is something you are interested in, staff members from The Education Foundation are tabling on Wednesday, February 1st, from 4 – 7 pm. at Patticakes downtown and would love to talk to you! The first 10 people to stop by and sign up to mentor will receive a $10 gift card to Patticakes! For more information, email segul@gm.sbac.edu.

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