KABA Mentor Program

The KABA Mentor Program

 

Since 1997, KABA has managed a school-based mentoring program that empowers both young people and the adults working with them. The KABA Mentor Program matches at-risk 3rd through 5th grade students with volunteer mentors from the Kenosha business community. The purpose of the program is to establish a caring relationship and improve motivation to learn, self-esteem, and academic performance.

Already a Mentor?

Thank you for making a difference in the life of an at-risk student!  Below is a lot of great information to help you be the best mentor you can be.

KABA Mentor Resources

 

Interested in becoming a Mentor?

40 minutes. One day per week. That’s all if takes to make a meaningful impact on the life of a Kenosha youth.  Volunteer as a KABA Mentor and help a student gain gain confidence, character and success.

Learn more

Need assistance?

Contact: Brooke Infusino, Director of Talent Development

binfusino@kaba.org | 262.925.3464

About the KABA Mentor Program

The Kenosha Area Business Alliance Mentor Program matches at-risk 3rd through 5th grade students with business mentor volunteers. The purpose of the program is to establish a caring relationship and improve motivation to learn, self-esteem, and academic performance.

What?

A mentor meets with the same student for 30-45 minutes once a week during the school year. Mentors meet at a time during the day that is convenient for the mentor and which does not pull the student out of a critical class period. Mentors typically spend part of their visit building the personal relationship and part of the time building academic skill. Mentors help students build a dream for themselves. Mentors begin by just talking with their students to build a relationship. Computer programs and games may be used to reinforce academic skills. While the primary purpose is not to tutor students, a mentor and student may often do school-related work at the direction of the teacher, especially if the student is behind in some area. The bounds of activities are defined by the depth and breadth of the relationship formed.

Where?

The mentor program is an IN-SCHOOL program only! Mentors do not meet individually with their students off school grounds, take them to the movies, go to a park, etc. Mentors can meet their students at school during open houses, participate as a chaperone on field trips and other school events in which multiple students may be participating.

If the student changes schools, the mentor typically follows the student to the new school, unless significant schedule conflicts make this impossible.

With whom?

Schools recommend students for the program. Parents/guardians give permission for the child to participate. There typically is not contact with parents or guardians.

When?

Mentors are encouraged to make a three-year commitment so they can be with a student from 3rd through 5th grade. Considering the realities of the workplace and mobility of families, a one-year commitment is considered minimal. When a mentor cannot continue, a replacement is secured because the goal is to have the student continue receiving one-on-one contact.

Continuity is most important. It is important to meet every week with the student. Mentors who miss a scheduled visit for business reasons often set up an alternate meeting time that same week.

How do I know that I’m making a difference?

Mentors talk and/or meet with teachers to evaluate progress and adjust activities.

Qualifications

All prospective mentors are screened by an outside agency, currently the Kenosha Unified School District. Screening includes: criminal background checks, contacting references, and a personal interview. This screening, which takes several weeks, is done to protect both the student and mentor.

 

FAQs

The KABA Mentor Program matches at-risk 3rd – 5th grade students with business mentor volunteers. The purpose of the program is to establish a caring relationship and improve motivation to learn, self-esteem, and academic performance.

What are the qualifications to become a mentor?

All prospective mentors are screened by an outside agency, currently the Kenosha Unified School District includes: criminal background checks, contacting references, and possibly, a personal interview. This screening, which takes 3-4 weeks, is done to protect both the student and the mentor.

How do I get matched with a student?

KABA will work directly with a School Guidance Counselor to identify an at-risk student at one of the schools you checked on your completed mentor program application. Once a student has been identified, the counselor will secure parent permission and contact you to set up a weekly mentoring time that works for both you and the student.

How do my mentoring sessions work?

A mentor meets with the same student for 30-45 minutes once a week during the school year. Mentors meet at a time during the day that is convenient for the mentor and which does not pull the student out of a critical class period. Mentors typically spend part of their visit building the personal relationship and part of the time building academic skills. Mentors usually begin by just talking with their students to build a relationship. After the mentor and student get to know each other, computer programs and games may be used to reinforce academic skills or just to have fun. While the primary purpose is not to tutor students, a mentor and student may often do school-related work at the direction of the teacher, especially if the student is behind in some area. The bounds of activities are defined by the depth and breadth of the relationship formed.

Can I mentor my student outside of school?

No-The mentor program is an IN-SCHOOL program only. Mentors do not meet individually with their students off school grounds, take them to movies, go to the park, etc. However, mentors can meet their students at school during open houses, and participate as a chaperone on field trips and other school events in which multiple students may be participating. If you wish to spend time with your student outside of school or off school grounds, you should contact Big Brothers Big Sisters for further screening at 262-637-7625.

What if my student changes schools within Kenosha County?

If possible, KABA recommends that the mentor follow the student to the new school, unless significant schedule conflicts or location make this too difficult. To follow the student, you should contact KABA so they can put you in touch with the guidance counselor at your student’s new school.

How long is the commitment?

Mentors are encouraged to make a three-year commitment so they can be with a student from 3rd through 5th grade. Considering the realities of the workplace and mobility of families, a one-year commitment is considered minimal. When a mentor cannot continue, KABA attempts to secure a replacement to provide a certain degree of consistency for the student. Consistency and continuity are very important-it is important to meet with the student every week. Mentors who miss a scheduled visit for business reasons often setup an alternate meeting time that same week.

Where will I go at school to conduct my mentoring sessions?

Each individual school should have a designated space(s) for mentoring. This may be the library, a classroom, cafeteria, gym, etc. The school guidance counselor should inform you about where to go to conduct your mentoring sessions. Please note that the designated mentoring area could change depending on the time of day/day of the week. Please contact KABA if you have not been informed about where to mentor your student during a regularly scheduled session.

How do I know that my student is in school the day that I’m scheduled to mentor?

The best way to ensure that your student is at school before you leave to mentor is to contact the school office and ask. KABA has asked guidance counselors to request that teachers let mentors know when a student is absent or on a field trip, but given the fact that teachers are in front of the classroom most of the day, they may not remember to notify the mentor that same day if a particular student is out.

What if my student moves out of the area?

If your student moves out of the area, and you would like to mentor a new student, the counselor at your school will usually have a few students already on a waiting list, so you shouldn’t need to wait long. If they are unable to identify another student at your school, please contact KABA and we can try to match you with a new student at another school.

How do I know how my student is performing in the classroom academically?

The guidance counselor at your school should give you contact information for your student’s teacher. You are welcome to e-mail or call that student’s teacher at any time to request an update on their classroom performance and behavior. Some teachers may be more engaged in or educated about KABA’s mentor program than others; therefore, the level of interaction with different teachers will probably vary. If you are not successful in communicating with your student’s teacher, KABA encourages you to let the guidance counselor at your school know and request their assistance.

KABA Mentor Resource Center

Below is a list of resources to help guide your interactions with your students be the best mentor you can be.