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July 2009

The "TIP"ping Point For Mentors Reaching the tipping point in every school...Creating sustainable change Stay connected! That’s the theme of this issue of The “TIP”ping Point. The national Big Brothers Big Sisters School-based Mentoring Impact Study shows that longer matches and closer relationships are associated with stronger impacts, and it is our goal to help mentors both lengthen and strengthen their relationship with their mentees. Through mentor and mentee surveys, we gauge the strength of mentoring relationships and that information helps us make improvements in our programs. The Strength of Relationship Survey you completed at the end of the school year focuses on relationship quality dimensions such as compatibility, closeness, competence and centeredness on the youth’s developmental needs. The data for this past school year is good; overall, for mentoring relationships where both the student and the volunteer completed a survey, the average relationship score was 4.15 on a 5.0 scale. We believe this positive score means we will see many mentoring relationships stay connected next year and have even more impact!

Summer vacation does not have to mean a complete break from your mentee; we do provide some opportunities for mentors and mentees to stay connected. Through our “pen pal” program, you can communicate with your mentee by sending notes through your Coordinator, who will forward them on. We are also anticipating a big crowd at our Cookout at Huntington Park on July 25, which is another way that mentors and mentees may be able to connect with each other. If you have any questions, please contact your Coordinator. Our Summer Vacation Series is a opportunity for you to prepare yourself to continue to strengthen your mentoring relationship in the fall. We are planning three programs this summer, and they are all for mentors, only. Coming up soon is the July program, “Bridges Out of Poverty”. This program will feature a special guest speaker who will focus on how poverty impacts learning, student work habits and decisionmaking. Please R.S.V.P. to your School-based Coordinator by July 24th to attend this program, which is scheduled for July 29, noon-1 p.m. at the FirstLink Building, 195 N. Grant Ave. The June program, “2 Worlds Collide, Connecting Their Lives to Yours” received a very high 8.7 out of 10 rating for meeting the expectations of the mentors who attended. We received good feedback that is helping us plan even better programs for July and August. Please watch for details on the August program, which will focus on school transitions.

If you haven’t heard from your Coordinator yet this summer, you can expect a call soon. Now that you’ve had an opportunity to reflect on last year, we would like to discuss your experience last year and your thoughts about next year. In our effort to stay connected to mentors and mentees, we will also be contacting the students who participated, and we may be able to pass a message along to your student about how your summer is going. Keep that in mind when you talk to your Coordinator. Thank you again for being part of this important effort! Questions, comments or suggestions? Get in touch with your Coordinator (839-2447) or email

Tipping Point  

a newsletter for mentors