National Mentoring Month is recognized each January to focus attention on the need for and importance of mentors who volunteer their time to assure positive outcomes for young people. VBCPS is fortunate to have many individuals from the community, businesses, military, faith-based organizations and government agencies who mentor students in our schools. Their work will be highlighted on The Core throughout January.
“It is an honor to work with children and to help them learn and succeed in school and in life,” says ITC Jim Berube.
Berube, who serves in the U.S. Coast Guard, also wanted to serve students and decided to become a mentor through the Maritime Intelligence Fusion Center Atlantic’s (USCG MIFCLANT) new partnership with Strawbridge Elementary School.
Berube visits Strawbridge every Thursday for 90 minutes and works with second grader Brayden Smithson during the independent work period in his language arts class. VBCPS partnership coordinator Laura Smart noted that Berube maintained his weekly school visits even when he was officially on leave.
Berube makes the time to mentor not only because he enjoys it but also because he sees that it makes a difference. “I feel especially privileged to mentor a student and to see his grades improve,” he says, “but more importantly, I see the student’s confidence increase.”
Research indicates that students may experience improved academic performance and increased confidence as a result of their involvement in school-based mentorships. Likewise, mentors experience personal satisfaction from making personal contributions to youth. Berube has experienced just that and looks forward to more members of his military command joining him in this important work.
For information on how to become involved as a mentor in a VBCPS school, visit this page on vbschools.com.