More in News
Students benefit from mentoring program
RUMFORD -– Homework and snacks – so begins a Wednesday afternoon partnership at Mountain Valley High School.
The formula is simple as MVHS students mentor students from Rumford Elementary School (RES): Homework and snacks, a game, then an outdoor activity or an indoor craft. Both groups of students get a lot out of the exchange.
“I get satisfaction of knowing that I’ve changed a life by making someone happy. We played a memory game one week.
One of the students who struggles with her homework won the game. The smile on that girl’s face was the best in the world,” recounted MVHS student J.J. Freeman.
Freeman worked with the afterschool program last year and the summer adventure program at RES. “I enjoyed it so much that I wanted to be involved again this year.”
Nadia Tag became involved as a mentor at her brother, Adam’s request. Adam Tag is a RES student. “He said he would enjoy working with his sister.”
In terms of benefits to her, Nadia described, “We learn to work with little kids. You can’t talk to them like you talk to high school kids. I learned patience because I didn’t have much of that.”
Speaking of the other perspective, “I think the kids enjoy it. They get help with their homework from some one close to being their peer rather than from teachers or parents,” explained Freeman. “I hope they get some sense of confidence.”
Big sister Nadia said, “Adam has to learn to get along with me. He does it [after school program] mostly to get help on his homework. He enjoys the activities and has fun.”
MVHS students include senior Paige Burgess, junior Anthony Epps, senior Brittany Every, sophomore John “JJ” Freeman, and freshman Nadia Tag. In addition to working with the younger students, they complete coursework and earn elective credit towards graduation.
The RES students are Mackenzie Downs, Allyiah Edwards, Alyssa Gagnon, Gabrielle Hewes, Dillon McPherson, Courtney Murray and Adam Tag. They are in fourth and fifth grade.
“Miss Heidi” Heath and Chelsea Collins, a UMF student, provide adult supervision by staying out of the way of the high school students and their interactions with their charges.
According to Barbara Radmore, grant director for Western Foothills Kids Association, “The mentoring program is part of the 21st Century Community Grant received by RSU #10. Western Foothills Kids Association is the grant-funded organization that administers the grant. It provides the funding for the staff, transportation and supplies.”
Colleen Calden is the site coordinator at RES and Heidi Heath is a staff member.
MVHS Media Specialist Mary Gamble teaches the mentoring class and provides the on-site supervision at the high school.
Radmore explained, “I developed Mentoring 101 as a wiki-based learning module. It combines both on-line and experiential learning that coordinates the study of mentoring/tutoring best practice with opportunity to develop activities and implement them.”
Allyiah Edwards (left) does her homework with the assistance of J. J. Freeman.