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.