South Windsor Mentoring Program

A Partnership Between South Windsor's Youth & Family Services, Public Schools, and Chamber of Commerce

Make the most of an hour.  Mentor a child in South Windsor.


"One Hundred years from now...
...It will not matter what kind of car I drove
...It will not matter what kind of house I lived in
...It will not matter how much money I had in my bank account
...It will not matter what my clothes looked like
But the world may be a little better place because I was important in the life of a child."

-- Unknown

For more information on the Mentor Program, please contact Kathy Reed or Tara Kozik at (860) 648-5030.

To help you gain an understanding of our program, the following are answers to frequently asked questions.

Click the following links for more information below:


What is mentoring?

Mentoring is a one-on-one relationship between a youth and a caring adult. Mentoring relationships help students to appreciate who they are while developing the skills they need to succeed.

A Mentor...

...May Be A:

  • Friend
  • Listener
  • Cheerleader
  • Coach
  • Tutor
  • Confidant

...Is Not A:

  • Foster Parent
  • Therapist
  • Parole Officer
  • Cool Peer
  • ATM Machine
  • Savior

Our program began in the fall of 2001, and has mentors working with Grade 6, 7, and 8 students for one hour a week during the school year. The program is school-based, which means that students and their mentors meet on school grounds during the school day, following the school calendar. The success of school-based mentoring programs is dependent on the support of volunteer mentors. Your gift of time is essential to the program’s success. We know that you and our students will benefit from the experience.

The program is a partnership between South Windsor’s Youth & Family Services, Public Schools and the Chamber of Commerce. The partnership allowed us to create a team dedicated to providing a quality program for our students. Youth & Family Services provides program coordination and mentor training while the Chamber of the Commerce works with us to recruit mentors from our business community.


What is youth mentoring?

Mentoring is a one-on-one relationship between a youth and a caring adult. Mentoring relationships help students to appreciate who they are while developing the skills they need to succeed.


How does mentoring affect youth?

Research shows that mentoring relationships help students to develop work ethics and responsibility, improve self-esteem and attitudes towards school, improve relationships with peers and family members, and increase communication skills. The presence of a variety of positive influences in a child’s environment is crucial, especially at an age where children are developing relationships with those outside of their family. Mentoring relationships help children to develop confidence to seek guidance from caring, supportive adults. It is a skill that will help them in high school, college, and the workforce.


What does a mentor do?

A mentor will spend one hour a week during the school year engaging in a friendly visit. During a visit, the mentor and mentee may use a computer in the media center, play a board game, work on a puzzle, make a craft, or visit the gymnasium. A mentor allows the relationship to develop with the student’s interests in mind and is respectful of the mentee’s viewpoint. A mentor does not replace the role of a parent or teacher. A mentor is a friend.


What are the benefits of being a mentor?

In research performed by the Connecticut and National Mentoring partnerships, men and women involved in mentoring programs reported that they:

  • Returned to work and home happier,
  • Were more appreciative of youth from diverse backgrounds,
  • Were better able to relate to children,
  • Improved their own values and belief system,
  • Felt good about themselves for impacting a child’s life,
  • Were more patient, and
  • Improved their relationships at work and home.

Additionally, research has found that mentors feel they were a better person, gained friendships, felt they were effective, and learned new skills such as listening (Commonwealth Fund Survey 1998).

The youth being mentored also benefit from the program. A Norwalk Study found they benefit in ways such as:

  • Improved academic performance,
  • Improved attendance,
  • Improved attitudes toward school work,
  • Increased communication skills,
  • Improved peer/family relationships,
  • Improved self-esteem, and
  • Less likely to engage in school violence.


What do I need to do to become a mentor?

Prospective mentors will need to complete an application packet, provide business and personal references, attend an interview, and agree to a police background check. Once the application process is complete, mentors will need to attend a training session. The training session will help you to further understand your role, give you strategies to help you develop your mentoring relationship, and introduce you to the mentoring support staff. The mentoring commitment is approximately forty hours over the course of the school year. You will need to be available for the initial two-hour training, one hour a week during the school year, and for two group meetings with all program participants.


What will the Mentoring Program do for me?

The Mentoring Program will:

  • Incur the cost of the police background check,
  • Provide initial and ongoing training,
  • Plan two group meetings of mentors, mentees, and program staff,
  • Provide games, puzzles, and supplies for your weekly visits,
  • Provide ongoing support for any questions or concerns, and
  • Formally recognize your contributions 


Interested in becoming a mentor?

Thank you for your interest in the South Windsor Mentoring Program. Your application packet includes the application, police check release, and two forms we use in matching mentors to students. It will also contain program information as well as copies of articles about the Mentoring Program. Once we receive the completed application, we will schedule a personal interview and arrange for training in being a mentor.

At the present time we have mentors matched with students from Timothy Edwards Middle School and South Windsor High School.

Please feel free to call if you have any questions.

Again, thank you for your interest in this program, we believe you will find it enjoyable and rewarding.


How can I be a better mentor?

Click here for more information on how to be a better mentor.