WHO IS ELIGIBLE TO BECOME A KIDS.NOW MENTOR?
a kids.now volunteer mentors must be:
At least 21 years old
Fun and enthusiastic, able to relate with kids
Open to other cultures and diversity
Interested in developing new skills and making a difference in a kid’s life
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF BECOMING A KIDS.NOW MENTOR?
As a mentor, you become a positive influence during a critical period in a child’s life. It’s a time when youth make choices that can change the course of their lives forever. Mentors help kids make positive choices.
A major US study found that young people with mentors are:
46% less likely to begin using illegal drugs and 27% less likely to begin using alcohol
52% less likely to skip school and more confident in their performance in school work getting along better with their families.
Research also confirms that volunteering helps enhance the following skills: interpersonal skills, improved ability to motivate and understand others, and help deal with difficult situations. Communication skills are also improved. In fact, many kids.now coaches confirm that they apply the skills they developed through the program to their daily lives.
WHAT ARE THE TIME COMMITMENTS INVOLVED IN BEING A MENTOR?
One training session of three to six hours with other mentors
A weekly commitment of 1.5 hour program sessions for 12-weeks (Fall or Spring)
Half-hour preparation time each week for 12 weeks
WHEN DOES VOLUNTEER TRAINING TAKE PLACE?
The training session takes place on a Saturday, typically a few weeks prior to the start of the program.
WHEN SHOULD THE PREPARATION BE DONE FOR EACH SESSION?
Several mentors find it most effective to thoroughly review the week’s material two or three days prior to the upcoming session, and skim it again on the day of delivery. Mentors are not expected to memorize the material, they should be comfortable with the information they’re going to deliver.
WHEN DO THE SESSIONS WITH THE KIDS TAKE PLACE?
kids.now is an after-school program that takes place in schools. Fall or Spring sessions run from 3:30 – 5:00 p.m. on one weekday for 12 weeks (*please note: start time may vary depending on the school. Some may start at 4 p.m.). The location within the school depends on availability, and the day of the week is different for every school. Sometimes the mentor and the kids will decide together what day of the week is most convenient, as long as it is approved by the school contact.
HOW MANY KIDS ARE IN EACH PROGRAM?
The ratio is 10 students to 1 mentor.
WHO ARE THE KIDS THAT ENROLL IN THE PROGRAM?
The kids.now program is for grades 7 and 8. Kids are self-selected, meaning they choose to sign up and want to participate. The kids come from all walks of life, adding diversity and value to the program. Our program attracts youth who want to better handle peer pressure, learn anti-bullying techniques, gain self-confidence, and set goals for themselves.
DO I NEED TO HAVE PREVIOUS EXPERIENCE WORKING WITH CHILDREN?
No, but you must be able to relate to kids and be committed to making a positive difference in their lives.
HOW WILL I KNOW WHAT TO TEACH THE KIDS?
All mentors receive support, training and thoroughly tested course materials, including workbooks with interactive exercises and activities. See Program Elements for more information on the skills taught in the program.
DOES A MENTOR HAVE A CHOICE OF SCHOOL OR LOCATION AT WHICH TO VOLUNTEER?
We match volunteer mentors to a school. We do our best to accommodate requests but if volunteers have a connection in a local school where they’d like to mentor, they can make a preliminary approach with the school and our Program Managers can follow-up. However, schools must show interest in our program before our Program Managers can follow-up.
ARE MENTORS SUBSTITUTED IF THEY CAN’T MAKE IT TO A SESSION?
If a mentor is sick or is not able to attend, they must inform the school contact. The session can be changed to another day of the week or an extra week is added to the end of the session to make up for it.
WHAT DO I DO IF I HAVE A QUESTION ONCE THE PROGRAM BEGINS?
Your first point of contact will be the school contact or “school champion”. You will also stay in regular contact with your program manager throughout the session.
IS THERE A WAY TO CONNECT WITH OTHER KIDS.NOW MENTORS?
Yes, you will meet a number of new mentors, during the mentor training session held before the program begins. We encourage mentors to connect with other mentors to share ideas, key learnings and information. You can also connect via our Facebook page and Twitter.
HOW DO I BECOME A KIDS.NOW MENTOR?
1. Complete and submit the application form 2. Pass a personal reference check and a police check 3. Attend a personal interview with a kids.now program manager
IS THERE A LEAD TIME/DEADLINE TO APPLY FOR A MENTORING POSITION?
Yes. The deadline for fall programming is early September and the deadline for Spring programming is early March.
IS THERE ANYTHING ELSE I SHOULD KNOW ABOUT BECOMING A KIDS.NOW MENTOR?
Being a kids.now mentor is a fun and rewarding experience. We have many mentors that come back time and time again. We look forward to having you join our mentor community to help more kids make positive choices and reach their full potential. If you have a question that you don’t see here, please drop us a line, and we’ll follow-up with you directly. We may even add your question to this section!