Saturday, January 8, 2011

January is National Mentoring Month

Help Them Get There. Mentor

This January marks the 10th Annual National Mentoring Month*, and we’re going all out not only to encourage mentoring but also to salute the outstanding mentors in our own Bergen Mentors programs: Mentoring Youth and Mentoring Moms.

We’re collaborating with HandsOn Network and other nonprofits to “Help Them Get There. Mentor”. Research* shows that mentoring helps young people stay in school, avoid substance abuse and delinquency. A strong mentoring relationship benefits both young people and adults by improving self esteem; social and/or parenting skills and aids in career development.

Through our Mentoring Youth program--formerly Volunteers in Protective Services (VIPS)--caring men and women provide guidance, friendship and support to abused and neglected children ages 5 to 18. Mentoring Moms are women who make a difference in the lives of isolated and overwhelmed mothers of all ages. The volunteers spend time with mothers who have experienced difficulty in coping with parenting, managing households, providing for their children or other obstacles.

A free six-week, 15 hour training program is provided to mentors in both programs. During this time, the volunteers take workshops on developing listening skills, communication and problem solving. All mentors undergo a comprehensive screening process which includes fingerprinting and other background checks.

Mentoring Youth volunteer training begins Wednesday, January 19th. Mentoring Moms volunteer training begins training on Monday, January 31. All trainings are held at the Volunteer Center of Bergen County from 7:00 pm to 9:30pm.

To sign up for the training program or to learn more about Bergen Mentors call Francine Kaplan at 201-489-9454, ext. 111 or visit us on the web.

*National Mentoring Month is sponsored by The Harvard Mentoring Project of the Harvard School of Public Health and MENTOR/National Mentoring Partnership jointly created National Mentoring Month to celebrate mentors.

*Tierney and Grossman studied mentoring organizations in Philadelphia in 1995

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