One hour a week during the School Year. There is no formal Mentoring during the Summer or during School Holidays. We ask that you become a reliable and consistent presence in the life of a child. Typically we make matches at the Elementary & Middle School level and the relationship continues until the Mentee has graduated from High School.
The Sonoma Valley Mentoring Alliance was originally established in 1996 at Flowery Elementary School. We are now in our 25th year of Mentoring and have Mentor Centers at the 8 Sonoma Valley Unified School District Campuses (5 Elementary Schools, 2 Middle Schools, 1 High School).
Once your screening process has been completed, there is an initial 3 hour training session with our Executive Director to orient you to the program and share best practices.
When it comes to maintaining relationships, everyone can use a little support! So we offer a variety of services to help our mentors. We host monthly ‘Let’s Talk’ sessions on topics relating to mentoring or the demographics of youth we serve. We also have one-on-one coaching when needed. All of these support services are provided at no cost to our program participants.
Prior to placing a child on the waitlist and talking with the child, the Parents have consented to having their child participate in our Program. They are encouraged to play an active role with the Mentor and the program by attending our annual Holiday Event and End of the Year picnic.
Absolutely. If the child is having difficulty in a certain subject, the teacher may communicate with you verbally or in writing, asking you to work on that specific subject area. But the mentor’s main focus is to build a trusting relationship with the child. If on-going tutoring is needed, our staff can locate additional resources to help the child with their academics.
Yes, each Mentor Center is overseen by a Mentor Facilitator, who is there to help new matches engage in fun activities that build a bond of friendship in a safe, supportive environment. In addition, our Mentor Centers are equipped with board games, art supplies, puzzles, science experiments, rocket-building kits, fooz ball, air hockey, computers, sports equipment and more to help keep things fun.
We ask that mentors give the new relationship a fair amount of time before deciding that it is not a good match. Some children take a longer time to develop trust in adults, and may be testing you to see if you are really committed. However, if you have made every effort to connect, but the chemistry isn’t there, we have respectful ways to provide closure.