HPEF (High Peaks Education Foundation) gave financial support for the first couple of years and now it is financially supported through the KCS school budget. Mrs. Cynthia Johnston, our Superintendent, and Harry Fine, Dean of Students and MS English Teacher, support and oversee this program and Alice Boutte, the mentoring coordinator. New mentors must undergo a mentor training class and become familiar with KCS staff and policies and parents must give written permission for their children to have a mentor as well as meet the mentor themselves before mentoring begins for their child.
Most children who choose to have a mentor enter the program at the beginning of 5th or 6th grade, meeting their new mentor after the Kick-Off in mid-October for about an hour a week, either during or right after school. Having a mentor, we believe at KCS, benefits ALL kids. Every attempt is made to secure a mentor for any student who wishes to have a mentor.
The idea is that a mentor, not bearing the responsibilities of a parent or teacher, and not trained to be a counselor, psychologist, guardian, social worker or academic tutor, is simply freer to befriend a child. The relationship may develop toward listening to rambling thoughts and ideas, finding new ways to explore the students’ interests and dreams, and offering help, if asked, on school projects and homework, too. It can and already has become a way for pre-adolescent and adolescent young people to enjoy and feel free in a relationship with an interested, stimulating, responsible adult from our Keene community under the auspices of the school environment. It is also our hope that if the student or mentee and his/her mentor enjoy their time and activities together for one or two years , such an experience can provide a stable bridge to help them cross over into the new land of middle school, their early teen years and increased peer pressure.
The program also provides opportunities for our mentoring pairs to participate in off-campus outings together in the fall and spring so that they can, with other mentoring pairs, share common interests and activities away from school as well – like visiting a horse farm, a museum, stimulating towns like Burlington, Middlebury, Saratoga Springs or Albany, or going bowling or hiking or joining in on a local community service project. In addition, there are social gatherings during the school year – namely the Kick-Off in the fall, a New Year’s party in January and an End-of-the-Year Picnic to wind up the mentoring year in June.
Please contact Alice Boutte through Keene Central School @ 518-576-4555 with any