OC School System plans to implement mentoring program

OC School System plans to implement mentoring program

Posted: Thursday, July 31, 2008 10:14 pm
By: Chris Menees Messenger Staff Reporter

By CHRIS MENEES Messenger Staff Reporter Obion Countians are being offered a unique opportunity to make a difference in the life of a child. The Obion County School System will be implementing a mentoring program this school year at the request of its school board and Obion County Director of Schools David Huss. The program will be organized and implemented through the county school system’s Office of Coordinated School Health, which Heather Kendall serves as director. In explaining the mentoring program, Mrs. Kendall said there are many students who look at their school as their “calm in the storm,” with school being their place of safety and stability. “There are many who do not have parents who ask them about their school work, their days at school, etcetera,” she said. “For a child to be successful, they need this nurture. They need someone to show an interest in them.” Mrs. Kendall said a mentoring program was started in the county school system several years ago. Over time, though, the program faded, with the exception of the program at South Fulton Elementary. Under the direction of South Fulton Elementary school guidance counselor Nikki Netherland, the program has flourished. Even though the school is small, the program has over 20 mentors and has been very successful. The mentoring program being implemented in the county schools for the 2008-09 school year will involve an application process, according to Mrs. Kendall. Prospective mentors will complete an orientation session, which will give them the necessary tools they need to serve in a mentoring capacity. If interested, they will need to complete an application and will have to be fingerprinted at no cost to them. “We are very excited about this opportunity to serve these students who need that extra amount of TLC (tender loving care),” Mrs. Kendall said. “I am sure you can remember some of your classmates who would have benefited from such a program, or you may have been one of those kids who needed that extra attention.” She said organizers of the new mentoring program want the community to get involved and to support the effort. “We want folks to get involved. I would like for businesses to say that they would adopt a school,” she added. Mrs. Kendall said anyone who has been searching for a way to be a servant in their community is being given a prime opportunity with the mentoring program, which she said will be very well organized. She explained that volunteers will need to commit about 30 minutes per week and they will be paired with a child through the direction of a school counselor. “I know these students will be blessed by (the mentors’) interest in them. However, I truly believe (the mentors) will be the one to receive the largest blessing,” Mrs. Kendall said. For more information, call the school board office at 885-9743 or Mrs. Kendall at 885-7171. Published in The Messenger 7.31.08

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