The St. John’s Mentoring Project
The Mentoring Project is a ministry of St. John's that springs from community goals in the Visioning the Vineyard Strategic Plan. Mentors provide one-on-one support to an at-risk child by spending an hour a week meeting with that student in a school setting. The project also provides support to school-based programs for at-risk students. All St. John's mentoring activities will be based at two Leon Country Schools:
John G. Riley Elementary School, a title I school close to Grace Mission that lacks community support.
1. One-on-One Mentoring
Lunch Buddies or Homework Helpers -- For one hour a week, mentors from St. John's read to students at lunchtime or help with a students' homework during the school day. The same student is seen for an hour each week during the school year. This is a true one-on-one mentoring relationship, the most satisfying kind for both mentor and student. (At the elementary level, two people can share a mentoring role for one student so each mentor meets with the child every other week.)
2. Lend-a-Hand Projects
Can't make a commitment to weekly one-on-one mentoring? The St. John's Project provides opportunities for one-time or multi-time activities at Riley Elementary that do not involve a weekly commitment:
After school programs for boys and girls - Once a month, a St. John's volunteer will present the after school children with a group activity or program on dance, cooking, arts, crafts, hobbies, technology, sports, etc.
Library Assistance -- once a month a volunteer from St. John's assists the librarian in the understaffed school library.
Gardening Project -- St. John's will put together a Fall Garden Team and A Spring Garden Team who will help a group of students to plant, maintain and harvest a garden in the prepared garden beds on school property.
Leon High School, the closest school to St. John's and a long-time neighborhood institution.
Leon County Schools assigns mentors to students who are struggling in secondary school either academically or socially, or who have family situations that put them at risk for not succeeding in school. These students do not have disabilities or significant disciplinary problems, but rather are teenagers who could use an adult's insight, encouragement and motivation as they deal with the complexities of high school. Students respond positively over time to mature adults from the community who make a commitment to meet with them one hour weekly during the school day. As trust builds, discussions tend to be about more than just academics. Currently there are numerous students at neighboring Leon High School who qualify for a mentor, but there are not enough volunteer mentors to be assigned to each of them. The mentoring relationship can sometimes continue from year to year and even after graduation. It is a meaningful way to both enjoy and help a young person in Tallahassee.