The school board received an update on the school district’s mentoring program at the October board meeting. The presentation was made by Vera Smith, the Parent-Community Outreach Facilitator.
Smith reported, “We have 15 mentors at this point. And we need more. Hopefully we can attract more community residents, parents, business people to work with us.” Smith reported 48 referrals from Red River Junior High and 20 referrals from Red River Elementary School.
There are more referrals than workers. So Smith said, “We have developed a mini-mentor program. We have children working with other children. So far there are 22 youth mentors.”
Smith reports that this year there is a mentoring program getting started at Red River High. She said, “The Sheriff’s Department has agreed to be our support staff. They are working with mentors to talk with kids about getting tickets and bullying, among other topics.”
In summary Smith said, “I am working extremely hard to help our pastors and parents to understand how important it is for a child to say ‘I have a friend.’” She added, “It is more about to work with the child than just academics. It is important for a child to be able to say the mentor is saying something really different, something I have not heard before.”