Hand in Hand
the power of
COLLABORATION Hand in Hand is a mentorship program at Hancock Elementary School. It is led by a Hamline student organization.
About Hand in Hand: Hand in Hand (HIH) is a student led organization at 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:
Hand in Hand fosters positive relationships between Elementary students and members of the University community.
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 You provide young students the opportunity Elementary and Hamline University. to have an older friend and experience a piece of university life.
As a mentor, you help them to envision their Discuss future opportunities like college future and all its possibilities. You model the importance of learning, especially reading Learn about each other through conversations, writing and/or making and writing. You help to nurture and develop art the communication and social skills of your Play games 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
Learn more about the Hancock-Hamline 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 Mentor
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.
Before beginning the program, 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, Hand in Hand accepted over 100 volunteers and 90 of those followed through with training and began mentoring Hancock students.
How are Hancock Students selected for Hand in Hand? 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:
COMMITTMENT is key.
As a mentor, your commitment to your Hancock buddy is the most important aspect of the Hand in Hand program.
If your buddy is absent…
If you go to your buddy’s classroom and he/ she is absent for the day or unavailable to All volunteers agree to commit to 45 be with you, leave a note for her/him and minutes per week for a minimum of one Hamline University semester, but preferably sign out. When signing out comment in the logbook that your buddy was absent, and for an entire school year or more. This you will be granted credit for your session time is to be spent one-on-one with your for that week. It is preferred that you make Hancock buddy. an effort to return another day that week, though it is not required. Volunteers sign-in each week in a logbook to verify that they came. The Retention Officer will contact any volunteer who If you need to cancel a session… misses a buddy session without notice. If a meeting with your buddy cannot be kept, Three missed consecutive sessions will you must do the following: result in termination from the program. If, Notify the Retention Officer by e-mailing at any time, a volunteer must leave the firstname.lastname@example.org program for any reason, that volunteer must Contact your buddy’s teacher by phone, notify the Hand in Hand executive board, email or in person. his/her buddy’s classroom teacher, and his/ Attempt to reschedule your meeting for her Hancock buddy. 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!
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 (LGE) are held about 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. Guideline: If a Hamline volunteer is unable to attend a Large Group Event, his/her buddy will not be able to attend either. Guideline: 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! Guideline: You must walk to and from Hamline with your buddy and the group for each Large Group Event. You may not walk alone with your buddy.
How do I RSVP for the Large Group Event?
Every mentor must RSVP before attending each Large Group Event. Mentors will recieve an e-mail with an invitation to the event. This invitation will contain a e-form that you fill out and send in electronically. Often times Large Group Events are divided into separate days to accomodate younger and older grades. On the day of the Large Group Event, go to Hancock Elementary School and check-in with the Hand in Hand Executive Board in the main lobby of Hancock.
Large Group Events promote solidarity between Hand in Hand mentors and their buddies.
Past Large Group Events: College Awareness - 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. Lunch at Hamline - A favorite Large Group Event of many buddies is the annual lunch at Hamline. Hamline mentors share a piece of University life with their buddies by having lunch with them in the Anderson Center 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.
Weekly Sessions with your Buddy
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 Mentor
Hand in Hand mentors spend time with their Hand in Hand buddies in a variety of meaningful ways.
Where do buddies meet?
Buddies typically meet for weekly, 45 minute sessions at the Hand in Hand Buddy Cabinet, located near the cafeteria. You and your buddy may use unoccupied space on Hancock grounds.
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.
Some ideas are other meeting places: 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 your buddy any day during their lunchtime in the cafeteria.
Game and Play Time: 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 an effective way to build a relationship with your buddy in those first few sessions.
Reading, Writing, and Creating Art: Engaging in reading, writing, and/or art related activities provides a great opportunity for you and your buddy to get to know each other. Encouraing your buddy to read, write, or make art with you sends a positive message to your buddy about academics. There are resources provided to you at the Buddy Cabinet that can guide you in creating art projects, reading books, or using writing prompts to write a story. Interview each-other. Use the written answers to write a “Get-to-know-mybuddy” story. Read a short story and then try to write your own together! Use chalk to draw pictures and murals on Hancock’s front sidewalk (by the blue, main doors).
Interacting with your buddy These are some ideas for how you can interact with your buddy in a positive way. Be warm, friendly - and even silly at times!
Use tact and positive comments. Encourage your buddy with compliments, especially when she/he is having difficulties.
Show an interest in what your buddy is doing and what she/he is telling you. You are a very important listener to her/ When working with your buddy, encourage them to do their own him! thinking. Give them plenty of time to answer a question. Silence often means Speak to your buddy’s teacher or one they are thinking and organizing what of the Hancock Literacy Coaches to they want to say. learn more about your buddy’s needs and strategies for how to meet them. Respect your buddy’s privacy. If she/he This also might help you strategize reveals any personal information it is to for how to meet your goal(s) with your be kept in strict confidence - unless it buddy. regards saftey, then you must report it. Be absolutely honest with your buddy! Encourage your buddy to do her/his If you don’t know an answer or are best. unsure of what to do, admit it and work it out together. This actually encourages children; they see that you Ask about your buddy’s favorite movies, hangouts, CD’s, or types of music are not perfect and they don’t have to be either. 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 about any problems or questions they may have. Be compassionate. Model compassionate thinking as well as a social justice perspective of the world. If your buddy talks about frienship related issues or bullying, tell them how you overcame those challenges when you were their age. If it involves bullying, also relay this issue to Assistant Principal Mary Weyandt and the buddy’s teacher.
RULES & SAFTEY There are a few rules and safety guidelines that all Hand in Hand mentors must follow.
Wear appropriate clothing:
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.
Don’t Give 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. 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.
Follow Safety Drills:
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.
Respect your buddy’s privacy:
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.
What you should not do:
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 should notify Hand in Hand through e-mail by contacting us at email@example.com. If it is an immediate issue, please speak to the Hancock Assistant Principal or Principal immediately and then follow up with us by e-mailing Hand in Hand later.
Learn more, visit the
Collaboration Portal Visit us online at www.hamline.edu/hancock and email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Collaboration Portal: The online portal features your buddy schedule, teacher contacts, online applications, Hancock calendar, resources, tips, and announcements along with photo galleries of Large Group Events and buddies. How to Access the Portal: Go to www.hamline.edu/hancock. Click “Hand in Hand” and then click “log-in to the Collaboration Portal” under Mentor Resources. Log-in Information: Username: hamlinestudentlogin Password: collaboration Once you are logged in, click “HancockHamline Collaboration Portal”. Now you can fully access the Portal and all its resources!
Hand in Hand Executive Board: Hancock-Hamline Contacts: President | Brooklyn Petrich Co-Vice President | Kate Bant Co-Vice President | Katherine Tilton Treasurer | Emily Hoover Retention Officer | Triston To become a member of the board, e-mail us at email@example.com
E-mail Hand in Hand:
E-mail us with any specific concerns or questions about Hand in Hand. Hamlinehih@gmail.com Hancock School Website: www.hancock.spps.org
Assistant Principal | Mary Weyandt • firstname.lastname@example.org Literacy Coach | Martha Salzman • Martha.email@example.com HIH Staff Advisor | Margot Howard • firstname.lastname@example.org Announcements: Announcements regarding Hand in Hand are sent to the mentors via e-mail and are posted on the Buddy Cabinet and sign-in area at Hancock.