(March 13, 2012) The Riverhead Central School District has initiated a new Mentoring Program. The program is a partnership between the Riverhead School District with the cooperation of the Riverhead Clergy Council. Their shared goal is to ”nurture the personal growth of Riverhead youth by providing mentors to guide and encourage the students with whom they are paired.”
The mentors and mentees will meet for one hour a week for one year. Research shows mentoring successfully increases the self-esteem of young people; increases student academic success; and increase positive social interaction. A mentor is someone who, along with parents, provides with support, friendship, reinforcement, and a constructive example.
Earlier this year, eight mentors volunteered to begin the mentoring program. Five of the mentors were available to participate in a special training program conducted by a representative from the Mentoring Partnership of Long Island. One of the mentors has already begun working with a student in the high school. Four others will begin in the next few weeks at Phillips Avenue School. They will be paired with second graders and will follow them into the next school year.
“We decided to start small with the hope of expanding the program next year,” explained Theresa Drozd, LMSW, the district’s Student and Community Service Specialist who is the coordinator of this program. “We applied for a Mentoring Partnership of Long Island (MPLI) grant a few weeks ago and were recently awarded $300,” she continued. “The grant will be used to purchase supplies for the program and fund a year end field trip for the youth and their mentors”
Anyone who is interested in participating in this program should contact Ms. Drozd at 631-369-6724.