Be a Mentor for Kids in Southwest Baltimore

January 15th, 2019

Mentors have been a vital component of our after-school programs for many years, and studies have shown that a mentor’s support makes a difference. Students with a mentor are 52% less likely than their peers to skip a day of school and are 130% more likely to hold leadership positions.

Paul’s Place is recruiting mentors for After-3 at George Washington Elementary School and Paul’s Place Leaders and Young Scholars (our after-school program for high school students) for the spring 2019 semester. Here’s all the information you need to get started:

How do I get on the schedule?

  1. Contact Christan Morley at cmorley@paulsplaceoutreach.org to get an application, and return the completed application to her. You can email the application  or bring it to Paul’s Place. You will get an email to fill out the background check online before your first day of mentoring. Watch for something from The Advocates.
  2. Tell Christan what day you can work and your preference of age group. (It’s also on the application).
  3. Christan will contact you and let you know what day you will be working and with what age group. You will then get a link to an online sign up program where you will sign up for each week that you are coming. You will be able to remove your name if something comes up and you have to miss one of your scheduled days.

Do I have to commit to once a week?  Yes, we ask for a once a week commitment because as a mentor, it’s important to form a relationship with your student.  So, yes, you do need to commit to weekly mentoring.  Our mentoring time is 3-4 pm for elementary and any time between 4-6 for high school. We understand if you need to miss occasionally for tests or breaks from school if you, yourself are a student, or for other work-related or family reasons. If possible, PLEASE LET US KNOW IN ADVANCE IF YOU WILL BE UNABLE TO COME.

Do I have to have a background check?  In order to work with our children, all mentors must have a background check.  It is done online. BEFORE your first time mentoring, you will receive an email from us with details.  Please fill out the form as soon as possible after receiving it. You will not be able to mentor until the background check is complete. If you haven’t done it by the training, we will have laptops there so you can do it during the training.

Do I need special skills in certain subjects to be a mentor?  No, you do not.  You will be helping them complete their homework for the most part, but if you aren’t familiar with the subject or comfortable tutoring a specific subject, you can spend the time talking with your student or playing educational games. It’s as much about the relationship building as it is the work. In fact, it’s really MORE about the relationship! We truly mean that! We are looking for good role models who help the students focus on their homework and on making good decisions. In high school, we do sometimes need mentors who CAN help in specific subjects (algebra, biology, chemistry, English, etc.). There is always a special need for STEM folks as well (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics).

Do I need training to be a mentor?  We do hold a mandatory orientation at the beginning of each semester so that all our mentors can come and get some basic training. We are offering two mandatory trainings in October.  For Spring Mentors, we will train you on the first day. Mentoring in the fall semester will begin on October 8. If you cannot make the training, you will need to schedule a training at the school prior to your first day of mentoring.

When do I come?  You will be assigned a day and time according to your preference and schedule (3-4 elementary or between 4-6 high school). When you arrive (a few minutes early would be nice) please come in through the Kid’s Place door if you are working with high school. Elementary mentors report to George Washington Elementary School and enter through the main door. Before starting mentoring, please SIGN IN in the Volunteer book.. Don’t forget to sign out!  

Where is Paul’s Place?  It’s located at 1118 Ward Street.  It is one block south of Washington Blvd between Cross St. and Ostend. If driving, you can get to Washington Blvd from MLK Blvd and turn left on Cross and take an immediate right on Ward (it looks like an alley). We’re in the middle of the block. Other options are taking the #36 bus which drops off at Cross St. and Washington Blvd or taking the Circulator which drops off at Hollins Market or the B&O RR Museum.

Where is George Washington Elementary School? It is located at 800 Scott St. Follow same directions for Paul’s Place, but continue on Scott Street 3 blocks. The school is on your left.

Where do I park? If you drive, you can park on Cross or Ostend Streets (either end of the 1100 block of Ward).  There is plenty of free street parking. Be sure to pay attention to parking signs.  On Thursdays or Mondays if there is a game, they may be enforced. There is a parking lot at the Corner of Cross Street and Washington Blvd , for now, you may park there.  If going to George Washington Elementary, there is on-street parking closer to the school. We may have some dedicated parking spots as well.

What do I bring with me?  A smiling face, open heart and mind!  The students will be so happy to see you each week! We’ll have all the supplies you need to help them with homework, but you’ll provide the heart to make a connection and build a relationship with them.  Just remember that it may take a few sessions for the students to warm up to you, just keep coming back! (Please don’t bring valuables and definitely don’t leave any in your car visible to passers by!)

What if I’m going to be late or can’t come at the last minute? It would be great if you could contact us either by calling the main number by 3pm (410-625-0775) or emailing Christan at cmorley@paulsplaceoutreach.org  or calling Christan’s cell after that..  Christan will give you her cell number at orientation. We will also have all mentors join a text group called REMIND that is a convenient way to contact us and for us to let you know if mentoring is cancelled.

Will I work with the same student all year?  In high school, you most likely will. Not necessarily in the elementary program. You will work with 1 student or a small group each time you come in. You will get to know many kids! And we’ll be working with kids from pre-K through 5th grade! It’s a new process for us this year and we’re still figuring out how it will all go…but we promise it will be a great experience!

How long does the mentoring go in the year?  The first semester ends on December 21st.   The second semester begins on January 2nd and goes through June 7th. We will let you know ahead of time when school is cancelled and we understand that breaks may not coincide and will respect yours! In the case of inclement weather, we will follow the Baltimore City Schools schedule (if they are closed, we are closed).

Still have questions? Contact Christan Morley at cmorley@paulsplaceoutreach.org or 410-625-0775 x 116.