National Mentoring Month
The connection in mentoring — pairing young people with caring adults — is a youth development strategy that can create a path to successful adulthood for children.
Youth who have a mentor are more likely to:
- Attend and be more engaged in school (Students with mentors are 52% less likely than their peers to skip a day of school and 37% less likely to skip classes.)
- Finish high school and continue onto college
- Form more positive social attitudes and relationshipsi
Mentors are not replacements for parents, guardians, or teachers, but they can be an important member of the team responsible for a child’s development. They can help to expand the boundaries of the adult-child relationship to include more fun experiences that encourage positive choices, promote self-esteem and improve academic achievement.
The outcomes from this relationship create gains for our country through improved educational results, better attitudes and behavior, and reduced juvenile delinquency in children who may fall between the cracks.
Opportunities for You to Get Involved!
Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service, January 21, 2013, is an ideal opportunity to highlight the importance of mentoring. Use the day to honor mentors in your community, recruit new mentors, provide training to mentoring programs or encourage mentor pairs to serve together. Visit www.mlkday.gov for more information.
Initiated by Congress in 1994, MLK Day of Service aims to transform the federal holiday honoring Dr. King into a national day of community service grounded in his teachings of nonviolence and social justice. Instead of being just another day off from school or work, the holiday gives people of all ages and backgrounds a chance to come together to strengthen their community, bridge social barriers and move our nation closer to the "beloved community" that Dr. King envisioned.
There are several ways to help. For example, your organization can:
- Sponsor and organize a single service project.
- Sponsor and organize a variety of service projects.
- Form teams to volunteer.
- Encourage friends, colleagues and families to seek out service projects in their hometowns.
- Become a mentor in your community.
- Learn more about mentoring.
- Partner with a mentoring organization.
- Join "I Am a Mentor" Day on January 10.
- Think about the mentors in your life, post a tribute to them online, then tweet about them using the #NationalMentoringMonth hashtag.
- Read the latest research and find resources on mentoring.
- Serve your community on MLK Day of Service, January 21, by deciding to become a mentor.
- Make a donation to a mentoring organization in your community.
- Go to YouTube on Thank Your Mentor Day™ (January 17) and make the National Mentoring Month videos the most popular of the day.
CNCS programs mentor more than 1.3 million children annually through AmeriCorps members, Senior Corps volunteers, and the Social Innovation Fund.
More than 1.1 million children are served through AmeriCorps State and National, VISTA, and National Civilian Community Corps (NCCC) members through one-on-one mentoring, recruiting volunteers, and building the capacity of mentoring organizations.
Senior Corps volunteers in the RSVP and Foster Grandparent programs touch more than 207,000 youth from disadvantaged backgrounds, reaching many in the early childhood years.
Funding for mentoring organizations is also included in the Social Innovation Fund portfolio of grantees, encouraging the development and expansion of innovative approaches to challenges that have proven results.
First Lady Michelle Obama and the White House Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships launched the Corporate Mentoring Challenge in 2011. Directed by CNCS, the Corporate Mentoring Challenge encourages companies to create or expand their mentoring programs or sponsor local mentoring programs that help youth gain leadership skills, achieve their educational goals, and increase their confidence.
Since its inception in 2011, more than 100 companies have committed to the Corporate Mentoring Challenge and have helped young people achieve their goals.
Mentoring and Academic Achievement
The Corporation for National and Community Service has partnered with MENTOR and Harvard’s School of Public Health to promote the important role that mentoring can play in academic engagement. National Mentoring Month takes place each year in January and culminates at the National Mentoring Summit.
Free marketing materials, including posters and bookmarks, are available for use to promote National Mentoring Month or your own mentoring program.
- Mentoring Toolkit
- Elements of Effective Practice for Mentoring (PDF 28 pages)
- Checklist for Mentoring Programs (PDF 2 pages)
To learn more about CNCS and mentoring, check out this fact sheet.
1 Corporation for National and Community Service. 2012. Mentoring: An Investment Worth Making. Accessed from: serve.gov/mentor