Getting the most out of life isn't about how much you keep for yourself, but how much you pour into others.



David Stoddard
 
Thank you, Lunch Pals Mentors!               
 
Happy National Mentoring Month!
We are grateful for every one of you who are 
personally involved in making a difference in
the life of a student as well as community partners who encourage their employees and members to participate.
 
We continue to hear so many positive things from our students, their parents, and our school staff regarding the positive impact being experienced due to your participation.
 
Over 500 mentors and 40 organizations are active in the Lunch Pals program! Though we are pleased with this growth, we still have many students in need of mentors.
 
Help us to put more smiles on the faces of students who are so happy to have an additional caring adult in their lives! Share your experience with a friend or co-worker, and encourage them to get involved! Let them know they can easily request more information at lunchpals.org.
 
Mentoring = Positive Outcomes
 
As a mentor, you are providing real life guidance and empowering a young person to make smart choices that put them on a path to making better life decisions.
 
  With a mentor, youth in need are:
  • 52% less likely than their peers to skip a day of school
  • 55% more likely to be enrolled in college
  • 46% less likely than their peers to start using drugs
  • 81% more likely to report participating regularly in sports or extracurricular activities
  • 78% more likely to volunteer regularly in their communities
  • 130% more than twice as likely to say that they held a leadership position in a club or sports team
And, you're paying it forward! 90% of surveyed youth who had a mentor said they are now interested in becoming mentors!
Lunch Pals Growth 
Lunch Pals Survey Results

When asked if the Lunch Pals mentoring program is beneficial to elementary and middle school students, 100% of surveyed principals, teachers and liaisons said, "YES!" 100%!
 
Parents of Lunch Pals mentees are encouraged not only by the noticeable academic improvement and motivation but also by the increased communication and social skills:
"He feels like going to school more and looks forward to it. He is trying to socialize more."
  
Teachers agree:
"[My Lunch Pals students] are more adjusted and confident. They have a sense of belonging and feeling part of something bigger than themselves. They have bonded with their mentors and feel a sense of purpose."
 
Principals have taken notice,
too:
"We have seen a significant change in attitude, behavior, and in some case grades. All because the students really value and appreciate someone giving them 30 minutes of their time a week, to support, encourage, and motivate them to do better. Great program!"
 
The feelings are mutual. When Lunch Pals mentors were asked what they enjoyed most about being a mentor, the bond and opportunity to give back were cited most often.
"[I have enjoyed] the opportunity to provide a positive impact on a student who may experience numerous life-altering challenges at such a young age."
  
Inviting mentors into the school community also presents many opportunities for involvement beyond these individual relationships, into the greater school community.

"Through the Lunch Pals initiative, our mentors noticed that our picnic tables in the courtyard were a bit 'weathered.' They took up a collection and purchased 5 beautiful picnic tables with benches for the school!"


But ultimately, it's all about the students, who happen to be the biggest fans of the Lunch Pals program. Lunch Pals mentees list many reasons why they like their Lunch Pals mentor including: feeling special, having fun, playing games, eatin g lunch, talking and receiving help with challenges they face.
"I like when we play basketball and football and I like when we talk about school."
  

"She talks with me and she is my best friend."


 

Many bright spots in many people's lives as we all share, learn, and interact together - that's what a community is all about!
Please Record Your Mentoring Hours

It takes just a few minutes and is so important to help demonstrate the commitment our community is showing to our students.
1 - Use the Firefox Browser to access the Volunteer System.
2 - Log in to: https://focus.pcsb.org/volunteer
3 - Sign on to the Volunteer System using your v.account as shared with you by the liaison at your school:
  • Username: (v. last name first initial - all lowercase. Please note that if you have a fairly common last name, the user name you are given may list the first two or three letters in your first name) Example: v.smithd
  • Password: Last Name (first letter capitalized) immediately followed by 4-digit birth year.
Example : Smith1975
Click Submit
4 - Click on the HERE link to enter Volunteer Hours (top left)
5 - Logging Mentor Hours:
  • Enter Hours: Date: Date of volunteer activity. Hours: Amount of time spent. Description: Lists mentor or tutor program. (Scroll down for all options). Use the dropdown options to complete the fields to note what you did that day, what topic was covered, how your time together went, and add optional comments.
  • Important -- Save Hours - Once you have all the hours' information filled out, press Return (enter) to save that row. The line will move down in the table, clearing out the top row for a new entry. Then Press SAVE.
Your Feedback is Welcome

Do you have a question about your experience? Is there a suggestion you'd like to make to help our program continue to grow and improve? Please feel free to communicate your thoughts - it's very helpful to hear your feedback!

Susan Schneck   Lunch Pals Coordinator     schnecks@pcsb.org   727-588-6000 ext. 1369
 
For quick access to mentoring program resources, go to: pcsb.org/mentorsources
 
For more information on mentoring go to: pcsb.org/lunchpals



Pinellas County Schools | Office of Strategic Partnerships 
Family & Community Relations
 
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