District to Expand Mentoring Program

District to Expand Mentoring Program
Posted on 08/08/2018
Mentoring ProgramNoting the success of the Rome City School District Mentoring Program since its inception two years ago, Schools Superintendent Peter C. Blake today said he is expanding the site-based, one-to-one program to all seven elementary schools beginning this fall.

And to make that happen, Blake said efforts are underway to recruit 56 to 70 mentors from the community willing to dedicate one hour per week from mid-November 2018 to mid-May 2019.

The after-school program, designed to help elementary school children achieve their full potential, will operate at the following schools: Bellamy, Denti, Gansevoort, Joy, Ridge Mills, Staley, and Stokes.

Leading the recruitment process is the Rome Area Chamber of Commerce, whose partnership with the New York State Mentoring Program and the Rome school district has resulted in the expansion of the program from three schools during the first year to five in the second year, and to seven schools this fall.

William K. Guglielmo, President of the Rome Chamber, said the organization’s board of directors and its education committee have begun recruiting mentors from the business community as well as from Rome’s general population. That effort is being led by Deborah Grogan, Education Committee Chair.

Brad DiPietro, Eastern New York Director of the NYS Mentoring Program, is coordinating the background check and fingerprinting procedures of mentors and will provide mentor training and in-service support throughout the school year. He said Rome’s program over the past two years has been “very impressive, a model for other communities.”

Amanda S. Jones, Director of Counseling Services for the Rome district who also oversees the operation of the mentoring program, said she expects that some mentors who volunteered during the previous year will return again this fall. “The response from mentors has been overwhelmingly positive, and they realize the tremendous impact on the kids,” she noted.

Frank P. Di Berardino, who serves on the NYS Mentoring Program’s Advisory Council, said the statewide program was established in 2015 by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo and is chaired by former New York First Lady Matilda R. Cuomo. He said a report on the Rome program’s success was “very well received” at a meeting of the Advisory Council in New York City this past spring.

For more information on Rome’s mentoring program, or to sign up to be a mentor, contact Guglielmo at 315-337-1700, or Di Berardino at 315-337-4721.

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Details & Schedule of the Rome City School District Mentoring Program for 2018-19:

Anyone 18 years or older willing to devote one hour a week is eligible, including workings persons, retirees, college students.

Each volunteer will be paired with the same school child weekly at the same elementary school, under the guidance of a site coordinator who will remain on-site during the mentoring sessions. The one-to-one sessions will also include group discussions and special activities.

Mentors will receive in-service training support as needed from the NYS Mentoring Program staff throughout the school district’s November-to-May mentoring period. Volunteer mentors will be asked to undergo a routine fingerprinting and background check, at no expense to them.

โ— TRAINING PROGRAM – Mentors will attend a two-hour training period in Rome conducted by the NYS Mentoring Program staff in October. The day, time, and place will be announced at a later date.

โ— FIRST MENTORING & ORIENTATION SESSION – The first mentoring session will be held on either Tues., Nov. 13; Wed., Nov. 14; or Thurs., Nov. 15 (depending on the schools to which mentors are assigned). Each weekly mentoring session will begin at 3:15 p.m. and conclude at 4:15 p.m.

โ— SUBSEQUENT MENTORING SESSIONS – All other mentoring sessions will be held at the same time and on the same day of the week, depending on the school, beginning the week of Nov. 26, 2018, through mid-May 2019. Sessions will not be conducted during school vacation periods, on school holidays that fall on the mentoring day, or on snow days.

DiPietro, Cuomo and Di Berandino

The success of the Rome City School District’s Mentoring Program was one of the topics of discussion at a recent New York City meeting of the Advisory Council of the New York State Mentoring Program.

Former New York First Lady Matilda R. Cuomo, Chair of the NYS Mentoring Program, applauded local school officials and business leaders for supporting the mentoring program, noting that the Rome community is making a real difference in the lives of young people by giving them hope for the future.

Pictured, from left, are Brad DiPietro, Eastern New York Director of the NYS Mentoring Program; Mrs. Cuomo; and Rome resident Frank P. Di Berardino, Advisory Council Member of the NYS Mentoring Program.

(Photo by Russ Rowland-NYC)

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