The Griffin-Spalding County Mentor Program gave a 2018-19 Goals & Progress update to the Griffin-Spalding County Board of Educations during its Jan. 8 meeting.
Spalding Collaborative Executive Director Regina Abbot told the board that as of Dec. 17, there were a total of 41 mentors in the program. Of those 41, 30 had completed the vetting process and were assigned to mentees. An additional 11 are in the vetting process.
She also said that as of that same date, the schools had identified and recommended 76 mentees — students who would benefit from mentoring. She said that 28 students currently receive one-to-one mentoring and an additional 48 are in a group mentoring program.
During the meeting, newly-elected school board member Syntel Brown asked Abbot what was being done to promote diversity in the mentorship program.
The following Thursday, his office issued a press release saying, “It is imperative that our mentor program speaks to the diversity of our community and reflects all of the students of the Griffin-Spalding County School System in each way. I was concerned during the presentation to see the lack of diversity and was interested in the recruiting plan.”
The press release also issued an appeal to the community for more volunteers for the mentoring program.
Brett Bell, chairman of the Spalding County Collaborative, was quoted in the release as saying, “Our mentoring program has been around since 2012. We currently have more than 75 mentees and just under 50 mentors. I encourage anyone that desires to be a positive force in the lives of our students to contact the Spalding Collaborative or the Griffin-Spalding County School System to start the vetting process.”
In a phone interview, Abbot said that recruitment for the Mentor Program “casts an extremely wide net because we need diversity and by diversity we mean everything.”
She said that diversity includes race, gender, socioeconomic background and age.
She said that there are a number of factors involved in matching mentors with mentees. When there are more mentors than mentees as was the case last year, the school system is provided the mentor profiles and selects the best mentor for their students.
This year, there is a shortage of mentors and Abbot said they are asking those who currently volunteer to take on more students if they are available.
She said they are happy to partner with anyone who will help recruit more mentors and hopes everyone will spread the word.
She said they will host Mentors After Hours on Jan. 29 at 5:30 p.m. at the Griffin Regional Welcome Center. During this meeting, there will be presentations from some selected mentors and mentees and Abbot said it will be a good time for anyone who is interested in the program to learn more.
To learn more about the role mentoring plays in the community and to find volunteer opportunities, email Kathy Rhodes, Mentor Program Coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.gscmentor.org.