Hand in Hand Guidebook for Volunteers 2011‐2012
About Hand in Hand
Mentor Responsibilities Page 5 Buddy Time
Large Group Events
Rules and Safety
The power of
Hand in Hand is a mentorship program at Hancock Elementary School. It is led by a Hamline student organization. ❏ Hand in Hand is student led through Hamline University. ❏ It is a one‐to‐one mentorship program that pairs 1st‐6th grade Hancock students with Hamline students. ❏ Hancock and Hamline “Hand in Hand buddies” meet once a week at Hancock Elementary School for 45 minutes to: • Play games • Discuss future opportunities like college. • Learn about each other through writing a collection of stories and making art.
We learn together and benefit immensely through reciprocal relationships. HIH fosters positive relationships between elementary students and members of the University community. You provide young students the opportunity to have an older friend and experience a piece of university life. You help them to envision their future and all its possibilities. You model the importance of learning, especially reading and writing. You help to nurture and develop the communication and social skills of your Hancock buddy.
In return, you will learn so much from your Hancock buddy and you’ll gain new perspectives on communities and life in general. Take a break from school, be a kid again! Your buddy will look forward to seeing you each week. You might be the only mentor in their lives.
We are made possible through the Hancock‐Hamline Collaboration, a partnership between Hancock Elementary and Hamline University. Learn more about the Collaboration by visiting www.hamline.edu/hancock
I am interested in joining Hand in Hand because I know the important role a mentor plays in the lives of youth.
‐Hand in Hand Volunteer
Participation in the program: Hamline volunteer applications and Hancock student nominations
Volunteer Selection: Hamline students typically apply for the Hand in Hand volunteer position in the Fall of each year. However, students can still apply at any time throughout the year. Hamline students are accepted into the program based on an application that asks for their time availability and a few questions that inquire about their willingness to commit and desire to participate. Once accepted into the program, volunteers attend a Hand in Hand training (including a tour of Hancock), complete a volunteer registration form
and agree to follow all program regulations which are detailed in this handbook. Volunteers must also agree to abide by all of the guidelines set by the St. Paul School District, Hancock, Hamline University, and all state and federal laws, while with any Hancock student.
In 2011‐2012, we accepted over 100 volunteers and 90 of those followed through with training and began the program by November 1st.
Hancock Student Nominations: Hancock students are nominated for the program for many different reasons. Some teachers nominate students because they are: ❏ Shy in the classroom and would benefit from more social interaction. ❏ Still learning English and would benefit from increased language interaction and support with an English speaker. ❏ Experiencing behavioral problems in class and could benefit from having a positive role‐model ❏ Experiencing issues at home or in their social life and could benefit from having a consistent mentor who takes an interest in them.
Responsibilities as a HIH mentor:
Commitment is key
As a mentor, your commitment to your Hancock buddy is the most important piece of the Hand in Hand program.
Commitment: All volunteers agree to commit to 45 minutes per week for a minimum of one Hamline University semester, but preferably for an entire school year or more. This time is to be spent one‐on‐ one with your Hancock buddy. Volunteers sign‐in each week in a logbook to verify that they came. The Retention Officer will contact any volunteer who misses a buddy session without notice. Three missed consecutive sessions will result in termination from the program. If, at any time, a volunteer must leave the program for any reason, that volunteer must notify the Hand in Hand executive board, his/her buddy's classroom teacher, and his/her Hancock buddy.
If your buddy is absent… If you go to your buddy's classroom and he/she is absent for the day or unavailable to be with you, leave a note for him/her and sign out. When signing out comment in the logbook that your buddy was absent, and you will be granted credit for your session for that week. It is preferred that you make an effort to return another day that week, though it is not required. If you need to cancel a session… If a meeting with your buddy cannot be kept, you must do the following: ❏ Notify the Retention Officer ❏ Contact your buddy’s teacher by phone, email or in person. ❏ Attempt to reschedule your meeting for that week with the teacher.
If you need to re‐schedule… You may reschedule or adjust your meeting times with your buddy's teacher without having to notify anyone else. Your meeting times are automatically canceled if they are scheduled over either a Hamline or Hancock school vacation and do not need to be rescheduled. Just be sure that your buddy is aware of the changes. This is especially important if you will be gone over J‐term ‐ don't let your buddy wonder where you are for a month!
Keep in mind that your Hand in Hand buddy will take it personally if you do not show up, so don't break their hearts!
I did Hand in Hand last year and really enjoyed it. My buddy's name was Wongsakorn and I really loved the time we spent together. It's an honor to work with kids at Hancock, to hear about their lives and try to impact them by showing them they are important and are loved by this community. .
‐Hand in Hand Volunteer
Hand in Hand mentors spend time with their Hand in Hand buddies in a variety of meaningful ways.
Where do buddies meet?
Game and Play Time:
Buddies typically meet for sessions near the Hand in Hand Buddy Cabinet, located near the cafeteria. You and your buddy may use unoccupied space on Hancock grounds. Some ideas are: the hallway (where the buddy cabinet is), the cafeteria, the gym, or the playground (if a teacher is out there with their class). You may not take your buddy off Hancock property unless it is for a Hand in Hand sponsored Large Group Event. If you have any questions about where you can go, stop in the office and ask. For safety reasons, you must be in plain view at all times with your buddy. You may also have lunch with you buddy any day during their lunchtime in the cafeteria.
The Buddy Cabinet is full of fun and educational games that you and your buddy can play with. There are also sports related toys available for outside play. Game time is a good way to build a relationship with your buddy.
You will engage in writing with your buddy and keep this writing in a folder. For example, one buddy pair might develop an entire story based on a memory she/he has. There will be many resources provided to you (next to the buddy cabinet) to prompt and inspire your buddy to talk and write about themselves. This project will require a lot of your guidance. It is an opportunity for you to get to know your buddy better and vice versa. The more you get to know your buddy, the more you will be able to guide your buddy in writing and talking about topics that they are interested in. Altogether it is also a tool to allow your buddy to develop and share his/her story and other writing.
A core initiative of Hand in Hand is to promote college awareness in the lives of Hancock youth. We ask that you center some of your discussions with your buddy on college related topics. Ask your buddy about their hopes and dreams in life and share your growing knowledge about college. Connect their choices in school to post‐secondary access. Model your academic behavior.
Getting Together for
Large Group Events
Once a semester, all the Hand in Hand buddies gather to celebrate Hand in Hand at a Large Group Event.
What is an L.G.E.?
Large‐group events will be held once a semester. These events are a great way for all the buddy pairs to get together with other buddies and participate in activities. All volunteers are encouraged to attend each large‐group event. If a Hamline volunteer is unable to attend a large‐group event, his/her buddy will not be able to attend either. If you and your buddy attend a Large Group event, this may take the place of your regular meeting; however, if you have time for both, that works, too! **Note: You must walk to and from Hamline with your buddy and the group for each Large Group Event.
Traditionally, the first Large Group Event focuses on promoting college awareness. In past years, this event has consisted of eating lunch at Kay Fredericks Ballroom on the Hamline campus while buddies engaged in discussions about college‐related topics.
At the end of the year, buddies gather together at the last Large Group Event to share their writing with each other. At this point, buddy pairs should have produced one or more pieces of writing that they “polished” into a finished product. In preparation for this event, buddies can use the materials in the arts and crafts bins (next to the Buddy Cabinet) to finish or complete their piece of writing. At the event, buddy pairs will read aloud portions of their writing in small groups.
A favorite Large Group Event of many buddies is the annual Sorin Lunch. Hamline mentors share a piece of University life with their buddies by having lunch with them in the Sorin Dining room during convo hour. This event is usually split into two days and organized by grade‐level in order to account for all the buddies.
Large Group Events celebrate the relationships that are forged through Hand in Hand.
Interacting with your buddy
These are some ideas for how you can interact with your buddy in a positive manner. ❏ Be warm and friendly. ❏ Show an interest in what your buddy is doing and what he/she is telling you. You are a very important listener to her/him! ❏ Be absolutely honest with your buddy! If you don't know an answer or are unsure of what to do, admit it to the child and work it out together. This actually encourages children; they see that you are not perfect and they don't have to be either. ❏ Use tact and positive comments. Encourage your buddy with compliments, especially when he/she is having difficulties.
❏ When working with your buddy, encourage them to do their own thinking. Give them plenty of time to answer a question. Silence often means they are thinking and organizing what they want to say. ❏ Respect your buddy's privacy. If he/she reveals any personal information it is to be kept in strict confidence. ❏ Encourage your buddy to do her/his best. ❏ Ask about your buddy’s favorite movies, hangouts, CD’s, or types of music etc. Following up with open‐ ended questions, such as “What do you like (or think) about…?” spurs
students to use their language skills to support their opinions.
❏ Maintain a positive attitude. ❏ Act as a resource for your buddy. Let them know that they can communicate with you any problems or questions they may have about anything. ❏ Be compassionate and model compassionate thinking. ❏ Speak to your buddy’s teacher or one of the Hancock Literacy Coaches to learn more about your buddy’s needs and strategies for how to meet them.
Rules and Safety
There are a few rules and safety guidelines that all Hand in Hand mentors should follow.
Wear appropriate clothing:
Safety and Drills:
Respect your buddy’s privacy:
If your clothing violates a Hancock rule, please don't wear it. Revealing clothing or clothing that advertises cigarettes, alcohol or other illegal drugs should not be worn. As a general rule, if you have clothing that would be inappropriate for a third grader to wear, don't wear it at Hancock.
As a general rule, use your own good judgment about safety. The most important safety issue for Hand in Hand is that you do not leave Hancock property alone with your buddy. If you are at Hancock with your buddy and there is a storm or fire drill, please follow the nearest class and stay with them until the drill is over.
If your buddy reveals any personal information it is to be kept in strict confidence. However, if something that is revealed concerns you, speak with her/his teacher or the Hancock social worker immediately. You can always speak to any of the Hand in Hand Executive Board members as well.
❏ Physically discipline students ❏ Diagnose students' needs or problems and counsel students ❏ Make promises that cannot be kept ❏ Discuss confidential information regarding a Hancock student with others
If you have an issue or a concern, you may always notify Hand in Hand through e‐mail by contacting us at firstname.lastname@example.org. If it is an immediate issue, please speak to the Assistant Principal or Principal immediately and then follow up with us by e‐mailing Hand in Hand later.
Gifts: Hamline volunteers are not allowed to bring gifts for their Hancock buddies.
Be visible at all times:
When spending time with your buddy, you must be visible to Hancock employees at all times. You may never be alone with your buddy.
What you should not do:
Contact us and visit us online
Visit us online at https://sites.google.com/site/hamlinehih and email us at email@example.com
Hand in Hand Executive Board
Our website features online applications, a Volunteer Portal for resources, tips, and announcements along with photo galleries of Large Group Events and buddies. https://sites.google.com/site/hamlinehih E‐mail us with any specific concerns or questions about Hand in Hand. Hamlinehih@gmail.com
President | Margaret Crenshaw Vice President | Tessa Mortenson Secretary | Paige Stein Treasurer | Emily Hoover Retention Officer | Laura Kaiser Public Relations Chair| Claire Olstad Program Evaluation Board | Brooklyn Petrich, Kate Bant, and Katherine Tilton To become a member of the board, apply online by visiting our website.
Visit the Hancock‐Hamline website to learn more about the Hancock‐Hamline Collaboration. http://www.hamline.edu/hancock Visit Hancock School’s website: www.hancock.spps.org
Hancock‐Hamline Contacts Assistant Principal | Deborah Shipp • Deborah.firstname.lastname@example.org Literacy Coach | Martha Salzman • Martha.email@example.com HIH Staff Advisor | Margot Howard • firstname.lastname@example.org
Announcements regarding Hand in Hand are sent to the volunteers via e‐ mail and are posted on the Buddy Cabinet and sign‐in area at Hancock.