Our Mentoring Program
Become a Mentor
As Talitha Koum children enter public school Kindergarten, Talitha Koum goes along, continuing to provide love and support. Part of that support comes through our Mentor Program, designed to help each child in ways that do not replace the parent, but join with the parents to augment a child’s comprehension of and ability to navigate the widening world and continue on the journey toward wholeness ~ body, mind and spirit.
Following are some of the ways our mentors participate:
In the main, take your mentee along for a ride in your normal life. There are opportunities for sharing at every turn, whether you are at the grocery store, bank, dry cleaners, a church outing, a play or a concert, or in your own backyard.
Attend open house at school or early “round up” night if the child’s school has one.
Go with the parent to meet the principal and the child’s teacher either before school starts or afterwards.
Help with special projects or homework assigned to the mentee that might require an adult’s participation such as the making of a costume or a special art project.
Occasionally drop by the school, when time permits, to have lunch with the child.
Assist the mentee, as the parent sees fit, to participate in all school contests/events, being sure any necessary supplies are available. (PTA Reflections, special campus contests, pumpkin carving, school pictures, etc).
Help parent to participate as a classroom helper – this might be as a room mother or in filling any other special requests of the teacher.
Attend teacher conferences with the parent or on behalf of the parent, discussing in advance any concerns the parent might have and acting as an advocate in helping to voice those concerns.
Celebrate report cards with the child. Mentors will find something positive to celebrate. All “As” are nice but unusual. Within each child there are special gifts and talents. Notice them and call them forth!
Mentors may be responsible for a great deal of the communication in this relationship and will be proactive. Mentors and parents exchange key information regarding phone calls and best ways to stay in touch. The parents of mentored children provide the school with authorization for the mentor to act in the parent’s stead, able to pick up the child from school, speak with the child’s teacher or counselor, attend meetings and events, etc.
Goals of Mentor Program
Maintain tie with Talitha Koum. Encourage parents to continue attending TKI Parents Meeting on Tuesday evenings at 6:00. Our motto is: Once a Talitha Koum parent, always a Talitha Koum parent.
Encourage positive relationships with school personnel.
Help parents communicate in a productive way with teachers and others in the school.
Be an advocate when necessary for the child.
Help child to achieve and experience success so that his/her education becomes a positive experience.
Help parents establish the expectation that their child will succeed and will graduate.
Celebrate success with the mentee and his or her parents.
Listen to your mentee! She or he will give you clues to what they value and love to do. It may be the merest suggestion, but as you follow-up with that thread, you'll find whether or not it is tied to an activity worth pursuing. One mentee in the third grade simply said, "I think I might like basketball." The mentor placed her in Upward and then Kim Mulkey Camp and now she is the leading point guard on her high school team.
Provide cultural experiences that extend from the arts to experiences in nature, sports, and wherever the child’s natural interests lead.
Speak often the thought of attending college (or some form of higher education)!
Relate to the mentee in a way that teaches trustworthiness, acceptance, and kindness. Simply lead by example.
Do you hold an interest in seeing these children continue to excel until they wear a cap and gown? We need dedicated mentors who take the responsibility for one child with the intention of being present in his or her life until the mentee goes to college or into productive employment. Try it for a year!
Mentors come in all shapes and sizes including individuals, couples, families, or friends who team up.
Click here to read the goals of our mentoring program and learn more about how mentors engage with our children. Some mentors act as individuals, some as couples, others as families who have their own children, or as teams of two who share a particular child.
Mentoring begins when the child is launched from Talitha Koum to attend Kindergarten in a local school.
It is best if the mentor has entered the program in advance so that the mentor gets to know the child while he or she is still in our care at Talitha Koum during the Pre-K year. During that time the mentor will likely be drawn to mentoring a particular child. Yet, it has also worked well for a mentoring prospect to simply say whether a boy or girl is a better fit and what age child is preferred. Talitha Koum has children awaiting mentors who are already in elementary school.
Significant mentoring program support is provided through Talitha Koum’s Clinical Director, Nurture Center Director and by way of our long-held relationships with the parents of our children. In addition, mentors offer mentoring counsel and ideas to each other.
For further information or to enter the Talitha Koum Mentoring application process, contact Susan Cowley. Or simply fill out the application and attach it to an email to Susan. She’ll be in touch with you for a time you may visit for an interview and confidential information on the children entering the mentoring program.