Mentoring Matters to Southwest Baltimore Students

February 2nd, 2018

Children in Southwest Baltimore face multiple barriers to achieving goals that will move them beyond their current experience living in a community with violence, poverty and uncertainty. Students in the after-school program at Paul’s Place gather in a safe and enriching environment where they enjoy creative programming, academic support, and mentoring. All students are paired with caring adult mentors that give them self-esteem boosting attention, and middle and high school students mentor elementary schoolers. Trinity and Kya are one of our mentor pairs.

Trinity, a 3rd grader, and Kya, an 8th grader, have been a mentor pair for two years. During the school year, they meet twice weekly to complete two objectives: homework and reading. Kya helps Trinity complete homework and read for 15 minutes, which is sometimes difficult to accomplish because Trinity doesn’t enjoy reading. But Trinity’s eyes light up explaining what they get to do after reading and homework – play games including board games, card games, and puzzles.

Kya has been in the Paul’s Place after-school program since 2nd grade and loves the trips and activities she has been able to attend. She especially liked going to Amazing Glaze to paint pottery. As a mentor, Kya has learned to be patient with Trinity as she tries to complete homework or reading, and they have developed a friendship.

Trinity loves having homework help and playing games with Kya, even if she has trouble sitting still sometimes. With Kya to help Trinity focus, they usually have time to play games. Trinity and Kya laugh a lot when talking and sharing stories about friends. And their relationship will help both of them in the future.

According to the National Mentoring Partnership, students who meet regularly with their mentors are 52% less likely than their peers to skip a day of school. This means students have a better chance of making academic progress. With the additional academic enrichment they receive at Paul’s Place, students further improve their potential for success. And, as Trinity and Kya both say, they get to have fun in the process.

Become a mentor: Mentors are role models for an assigned student that is in 1st- 12th grade. Mentors care and support their student, building a strong relationship with them. Mentors assist students with their homework and read with them. Mentors meet at least once a week Monday through Thursday from 4:00pm to 5:00pm for a semester; mentors of high school students can volunteer from 5:00pm to 6:00pm or 5:30pm to 6:30pm. Contact Jayna Powell to learn more.