District Mentoring Successfully Completes 2nd Year

School District Mentoring Program Successfully Completes 2nd Year
Posted on 06/05/2018

More than 40 children in five elementary schools benefited from the Rome City School District Mentoring Program, thanks to volunteer mentors who dedicated one hour a week from October through May helping children achieve their full potential. 

That’s the word from Superintendent of Schools Peter C. Blake, who praised the 42 volunteers from the community for their time and commitment to work with the children. “Throughout the school year, special bonds were created between mentors and their mentees that will have a positive effect on the kids for years to come,” he said. 

Blake also applauded Amanda S. Jones, the district’s Director of Counseling Services, for directing the program, as well as the Site Coordinators who oversaw the weekly mentoring sessions: Renee Bledsoe, Paula Foote, Laurie Jones, 
Regina Kekis, Denice Luczak, and Jodi Marchione. 

Rome's mentoring program for the 2017-18 school year concluded its final session during the week of May 21. A special ceremony was conducted at each of the five mentoring sites, at which children received a Certificate of Achievement and mentors a Certificate of Appreciation, all signed by the Superintendent. 

In partnership with the Rome Area Chamber of Commerce and the New York State Mentoring Program, the school district launched the program in three schools during the 2016-17 academic year, and then expanded it to five schools in 2017-18. Blake said the district will consider offering the program in all seven elementary schools in the next school year. 

Rome Chamber President William K. Guglielmo noted that the Chamber, as part of its ongoing commitment to actively support the community, has taken a lead role in promoting the school district's mentoring program through informational meetings, mass e-mailings, news releases, and radio interviews, in conjunction with the Chamber's Education Committee chaired by Deborah Grogan. He said the Chamber’s involvement has resulted in the recruitment of volunteers from area businesses as well as from the community-at-large, including retired persons. 

Brad DiPietro, Eastern New York Director of the NYS Mentoring Program, said the community's support for the Rome program is impressive, especially considering the time commitment that volunteer mentors must make. As the State Liaison for the Rome program, he has provided training for the Rome mentors and site coordinators, supervised the security-fingerprinting process of the volunteers, and offered topics of discussion and activity ideas for the week mentoring sessions.

Frank P. Di Berardino, who serves on the Advisory Council of the NYS Mentoring Program and helped organize the Rome mentoring sites, said the purpose of mentoring is to help school children develop self-esteem, improve social skills, 
learn respect for others, and achieve personal success.  He said many studies in recent years point to the long-term benefits of mentoring. 

Former New York First Lady Matilda R. Cuomo, Founder and Chair of the NYS Mentoring Program, has visited Rome over the past two years to meet with local school officials and business leaders. She said the school district's Mentoring Program serves as a model for schools in other regions of the state to emulate. 

Anyone interested in further information about the Rome Mentoring Program, or wishing to sign up early to be a mentor this fall, can contact the Rome City School District at (315) 338-6500, the Rome Area Chamber of Commerce at (315) 
337-1700, or Frank Di Berardino at (315) 337-4721. 

gansevoort mentoring

Gansevoort Mentors: 

Back row, left to right: Cathie Mann, Mike Bertone, Aleasa Keels. Front row, left to right: Ted Lenio, Brenda Klara, April Cacciatori, Christopher Klara. Not 
pictured: Rachel Hayes. 

joy mentors

Joy Mentors:

Back row, left to right: Paul Phister, Laura Rusyniak, Todd Humiston, Barbara Bertone, Andrea Rounds. Front row, left to right: Pamela Hogan, Patricia Bremer, Frank Bertone (holding canine mentor "Star"). 

bellamy mentoring

Bellamy Mentors:

Left to right: Howie Gilbert, Matthew Grinnell, Amberly Sherman, Theresa LaPointe, Jim Jones, Shannon Eddy. Not pictured: Shirley Naylor, Therese Tardugno. 

staley mentoring

Staley Mentors:

Left to right: Jill Pekarski, Sandy Miller, Donna Martin, Kathy Grant, Don Schlueter, Angeline Guglielmo, Carol Kaun, Alice Dearo, Gwyn Caldwell, Regina Kekis.

denti mentoring

Denti Mentors:

Left to right: Michelle Leonard, Ciera Ayers, Theresa Lapointe, Brian Miller, Kimberly Jones, Beverly Edwards, Tim Anderson, Sally Myhr

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