Thanks for Your Support!
"A mentor is someone who allows you to see hope inside yourself."
                                                                                                                 Oprah Winfrey
Lunch Pals is a mentoring program designed to provide students with an additional presence of a caring, consistent and committed adult in their lives. Each student is identified by school personnel as a child who could benefit from a mentoring relationship, and is often facing social and academic challenges.

As a mentor, you are making a difference! In the life of a student, in the climate of our school district, in the future of this community, and in your personal enrichment, you are creating positive and impacting change. Thank you for giving of your time, and most importantly of yourself, to instill a positive outlook, one child at a time.
Learn more about the positive effects of mentoring here.
Celebrate January as National Mentoring Month!
We celebrate the contributions of all those who cultivate a supportive environment for the next generation. Every day, mentors help our students face the challenges of growing into adulthood, setting a positive example and sharing their time, knowledge and experience. We continue to strive towards involving more adults as mentors for our students.
  You can help! Have you had a mentor? Are you a mentor yourself? Share the story of your experiences on social media to encourage others to become involved. Not involved yet? Now is the time! Remember, mentoring builds relationships that are as meaningful for the mentor as they are for the young person being mentored!

Thanks to Our Community Partners

We are grateful for our corporate and collegiate partners and their presence in the schools they work with:

  • Eckerd College: Lakewood Elementary
  • Juvenile Welfare Board: Pinellas Park Elementary
  • Pinellas County Schools Employees: Mildred Helms Elementary
  • Raymond James Financial: Mt. Vernon and Lynch Elementary
  • St. Petersburg College, Downtown Campus: Melrose Elementary
  • St. Petersburg College, Gibbs Campus: Azalea Middle
  • Stetson University College of Law: Gulfport Elementary
  • Tech Data: High Point Elementary
  • University of South Florida - St. Petersburg: Fairmount Park and Campbell Park Elementary

See a partnership in action!



BEING THERE - A Student's Story

"Ms. Tami is special. She helps me with my reading."
This is the response given by 5th grader Kahla when asked what she likes best about having a mentor. She has been paired with Tami Smyrski, her Lunch Pal mentor from Raymond James, for three years. They meet once per week during Kahla's lunch at Mt. Vernon Elementary and have formed quite a bond. Kahla adds, "It is nice when your mentor helps you get better at something you weren't so good at and you can see the difference."        Read the rest of the story
Mentor Tips   
Spinning it Positive
Turn a frown upside down! Occasionally your mentee may be discouraged about some struggles they're having and share their negative thoughts with you.
What do you say? First, validate their feelings as very real by encouraging them to share why they feel the way they do. Gain more of an understanding by asking some leading questions, like why, can you tell me more, and how did you feel when this happened. Help them realize that in time they can turn a negative thought into some motivation, rephrasing a difficult challenge into a new and positive one like these.
  Looking for more ideas?
What to talk about and do with your student? Check out the activities highlighted
Getting Started   
Know someone who might like to get involved?                           
Feel free to share this newsletter and the contact information below.
For Corporations, Community Groups and Religious Organizations:   
Contact Susan Schneck, Lunch Pals Coordinator
727-588-6000 Ext. 1369 or  
For Individuals:
Attend an upcoming Mentor Workshop where you can complete the volunteer registration form, submit a copy of a government issued ID (a driver's license is one example), and learn some tips to get started.
  Lunch Pals is sponsored by Pinellas County Schools in partnership with
Raymond James

G et Engaged in Education!
Thanks again for making a difference.

Office of Strategic Partnerships,  Pinellas County Schools 
Strategic Community Partnerships,  Raymond James Financial