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Mentors supporting Norwalk students

(Norwalk Public Schools)

In recognition of National Mentoring Month, the Norwalk Board of Education is proud to recognize Norwalk mentors for their dedication and support of NPS students. In doing so, we honor all those parents and family members, teachers and coaches, employers and co- workers, community and faith leaders, and so many others who devote time, care, and energy to helping our young people thrive.

Studies have shown that children who are involved in a mentoring program experience higher levels of academic success, better peer and family relationships and are less likely to use drugs, alcohol and engage in other dangerous behaviors.

The Norwalk Mentor Program, a program of the Human Services Council, has been a longtime partner of Norwalk Public Schools. The program matches mentors with students in grades K-12 who would benefit from a positive adult role model in their life. Students are referred for the program by school counselors, teachers, and social workers.

The program currently has 372 mentors and mentees that meet once a week for an hour, virtually or at school in person. During this hour, the mentee and their mentor have meaningful conversations, identify goals, read books to each other, and play games and activities. The Norwalk Mentor Program continuously recruits, screens, and trains new mentors.

Throughout the pandemic, the mentor/mentee relationship has been critical for many students who may have been feeling isolated, depressed, or anxious. Students are able to share these feelings and concerns with their mentors, who provide a sense of normalcy and support.

Many mentees and mentors remain paired together for many years, helping to form a special bond that supports students throughout their educational career at NPS and beyond. Mentees that have been matched with a mentor for four or more years are eligible for a scholarship to further their education. Their scholarship can be applied to a two- year college, four-year college or trade school.

The Board would like to recognize all the mentors who encourage positive choices, promote high self-esteem, support academic achievement and introduce the mentee to new ideas.

One comment

Piberman January 23, 2022 at 12:52 pm

Old timers still remember when Norwalk had well regarded public schools with serious local involvement in helping students get an education. Now the teachers contract governs every aspect of the “public school business”. Once upon a time it wasn’t a problem finding teachers who would stay after school to accommodate mentors. Back then many if not most of our teachers lived in Norwalk sending their kids to our schools. With high taxes and “education problems” that’s changed. So mentoring becomes much more difficult to arrange.

Once upon a time most everyone involved in “local public service” did some student mentoring. Building careers in “public service” oft began with student mentoring. But our world has changed. Neither our community nor our local education leaders, e.g. BOE, care much that most grads from our schools fail to meet CT Edu standards. The role of our BOE is giving out nice salary raises, not securing student achievements.
So we pay our Supt $300k while many of our students remain challenged. And most never secure a 4 yr college degree. Not our problem ! We provide the schools. Up to the students to get educated is our local motto.

Do all our BOE members and elected officials do mentoring ? Setting the standard ? Too busy ? Do kids at private schools have similar trouble finding mentors ? Private schools have a different eduction railroad ?

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