At the end of last week, seven mentoring program representatives and I were able to attend the 2015 National Mentoring Summit in Washington DC. The summit brought together approximately 1,000 mentoring supporters from across the nation to explore and advance mentoring’s positive impact on individuals and communities.
Five of us from Vermont were able to make our way down to DC a little early to participate in Capital Hill Day (Wednesday the 28th); a collective national effort to meet with members of Congress and their staff to relay the far-reaching impact of quality youth mentoring and share the current landscape of mentoring in their states. We were able to meet with staff members from Senator Leahy’s, Senator Sanders’, and Representative Welch’s offices to ask for their support on national mentoring policy issues and inform them of the outstanding work being done by the close to 150 youth mentoring programs in Vermont. The meetings were a great opportunity for us to share the important work going on in Vermont and to receive confirmation that our representatives in Congress believe in the benefits of mentoring and are excited to support the work we’re doing in any way they can.
The National Mentoring Summit was a great way to cap off an event-filled National Mentoring Month in Vermont. Thank you to all of you for supporting mentoring in your communities. Together we can continue to close the mentoring gap in Vermont.
Read our blog post about the 2015 National Mentoring Summit for more information.
January 2015 Officially Recognized as National Mentoring Month
Governor Peter Shumlin’s proclamation and The House of Representative’s resolution have set into motion great steps for mentoring in our state and officially recognized January 2015 as Vermont Mentoring Month! All across the nation, legislators have been recognizing National Mentoring Month in their states throughout January. At the beginning of the month, President Barack Obama proclaimed January 2015 as National Mentoring Month! Read Obama’s Presidential Proclamation here.
Mentoring partnerships, programs, mentors, and mentoring supporters have achieved great things for mentoring across the country and in Vermont over the past month. Vermont mentoring programs hosted more than 20 celebrations, appreciation events and benefits. Click here to read all about their success! Mobius, along with Vermont mentoring program staff, attended the 2015 National Mentoring Summit to connect with government officials and mentoring supporters from all over the nation. Thank you to everyone who made January such a success and to all those who celebrated with us!
We are particularly grateful to our 2015 Vermont Mentoring Month spokesperson, former Governor Madeleine Kunin, and our amazing sponsors:
Media Sponsor: Comcast
Gold Sponsor: Redstone
Bronze Sponsors: Burlington Town Center Mall,
Local Muscle Movers
2015 PBS Kids Writers Contest is Open
This is Vermont PBS’ 20th year holding its PBS Kids Writers Contest. Formerly known as the Reading Rainbow Contest, the Writers Contest is a local and national contest designed to promote children’s reading skills through hands-on, active learning. The contest encourages children in grades K- 3 to create their own original stories and illustrations.
Deadline: Friday, March 20th.
How it works: Entries must be submitted with an official entry form and follow the contest rules. You can find the form, rules and extra fun here on the Vermont PBS website. Entries are judged locally by a panel of experts and winners are selected – three from each grade, for a total of 12 winners. First place winners in each grade level are sent on to the national contest. Local winners will be announced in mid-April and will be featured online. They will also be recognized at an awards ceremony at the Vermont PBS Studio. Each contest participant will receive a certificate of achievement, as well as an invitation to attend a Storytime Party that will be held at different locations throughout the state. All contestants can sign up to read their story aloud to family and friends at the Storytimes.
Offical Launch of the National Mentoring Resource Center
“The U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention is proud to partner with MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership to bring this resource to the youth mentoring field. The goal of the National Mentoring Resource Center is to improve the quality and effectiveness of mentoring across the country by supporting youth mentoring practitioners. The National Mentoring Resource Center serves as a comprehensive and reliable resource for mentoring tools, program and training materials, and information. In addition to accessing online resources, mentoring programs can apply for no-cost training and technical assistance to support them in more deeply incorporating evidence-based practices, ultimately leading to greater positive outcomes for youth.” Mentoring programs can apply here
2015 Mentoring Celebration at the Vermont Statehouse
On January 22nd, we celebrated National Mentoring Month at the Vermont Statehouse with more than 90 mentors, mentees, and supporters from 15 mentoring programs across the state. The recognition event featured remarks by 2015 Vermont Mentoring Month Sporkesperson former Governor Madeleine Kunin, a Vermont Mentoring Month proclamation signing with Governor Peter Shumlin, and the reading of a Vermont Mentoring Month resolution sponsored by Representative Leigh Dakin (Windsor-3-1) of the Vermont House of Representatives. A huge round of applause to 11-year-old Girls/Boys First mentee, Anna Farber, who read the proclamation officially recognizing January 2015 as National Mentoring Month in Vermont. Participants also had the option to receive complimentary lunch in the statehouse cafeteria, and, at the conclusion of the event, go on a guided tour of the statehouse.
Thank you to all the mentoring programs that came out for the event and helped this event such a success: Barstow Buddies, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Bennington County; Big Brothers Big Sisters of Windham County; The DREAM Program, Essex FriendCHIPS; Everybody Wins! Vermont, Girls/Boyz First; Howard Center’s Community Friends, JUMP Mentoring; King Street Center’s Junior Senior Buddies; The Mentoring Project of the Upper Valley; Monkton Mentors, SB Mentoring; United Way of Chittenden County; and Windsor County Partners.
Read our blog post about the statehouse event for more information. Hope to see everyone next year!
January 2015 Vermont Mentoring Month
In January, Vermont mentoring programs coordinated more than 20 events for National Mentoring Month. Thank you for everyone's hard work and to those who came out to support mentoring in Vermont. A special thank you to our Gold Sponsor, Redstone, which supported our Mentoring Events Calendar.
Twinfield Together Mentoring Benefits
The Twinfield Together Mentoring Program would like to thank Positive Pie in Plainfield, Rainbow Sweets Bakery, Maple Valley Café, and the Plainfield Co-op for their sponsorship during National Mentoring Month. Their endorsement helped to spread the word in Marshfield and Plainfield of the importance of mentoring relationships in strengthening kids and communities, and provided matching funds towards our grant funding.
Positive Pie in Plainfield donated a percent of sales
every Thursday in January
Rainbow Sweets Bakery donated 50% of sales
on January 21st
Maple Valley Café gave out free coffee in honor of mentoring and accepted donations for Twinfield Together in place of the coffee's usual price.
Plainfield Co-op donated 1% of sales on January 30th.
Mobius' Benefit Bake for Mentoring
On January 6th, American Flatbread Burlington Hearth hosted Mobius for the 6th annual Benefit Bake for Mentoring! It was a great evening to spend with so many mentoring supporters celebrating National Mentoring Month. We had more than 300 people come out for the event to eat flatbread. The event raised $450 to support Mobius and mentoring in Vermont! If you couldn't make it to the event but want to support Mobius, it’s certainly not too late! You can follow this link and donate now. A special thank you to Cabot Creamery Cooperative for donating the awesome raffle prize! Read our blog post to learn more about the event.
The Everybody Wins! Vermont Concert
On January 8th (Thank Your Mentor Day!), mentors, staff, board members, and friends alike came together to celebrate National Mentoring Month. The Shelburne Vineyard First Thursday Concert Series benefited Everybody Wins! Vermont, the statewide literacy mentoring organization, by providing an evening of free music. Pete's Posse, led by Vermont legend Pete Sutherland, created a great atmosphere with their tunes on the cold night while guests sampled food from Southern Smoke Vermont and wine from Shelburne Vineyard. What a great time! Many thanks to Gail and Ken Albert of the Shelburne Vineyard for supporting Everybody Wins! Vermont.
King Street Center Benefit Concert
On January 9th, the King Street Center’s hosted a successful benefit concert, as part of the Brick Church Music Series in Williston. Attendees gathered into the very rustic and preserved church to spend a night listening to music performed by Paul Asbell while supporting a local non-profit. Roughly 120 people attended, and the church was filled with local folks, mentors, board members and supporters of King Street. In addition to the funds raised by the event, King Street also raised awareness about the Junior Senior Buddies mentoring program, what the program does for youth in Burlington, and the importance of mentoring in a youth's life.
Dinner Series for Milton Mentors
On January 12th and 13th, the Milton Community Youth Coalition celebrated National Mentoring Month with a fun and friendly luau-themed dinner! Guests were invited to the Milton Elementary School to learn about Milton Mentors, mentoring opportunities in Vermont, the Milton Recreation Department, Route 7 Corridor, and Winter Walk Day with Safe Routes To Schools.
Girls/Boyz First Mentoring Benefit Dinner
On January 13th, Girls/Boyz First Mentoring held a fundraising dinner at Sarducci's Restaurant in Montpelier. About 50 mentoring supporters and people dining out participated in the event. 11 mentors and two mentees attended, along with spouses, parents and board members. Sarducci's donated a percentage of all dinners sold, a $300 total donation, to Girls/Boyz First, in recognition of the service the program provides to youth in Washington County.
SB Mentoring Winter Gala Dinner and Silent Auction
On January 17th, SB Mentoring hosted it Winter Gala and Silent Auction! Approximately 70 people came out to support the mentoring program in South Burlington, including mentors, community supporters, local legislators, and program staff from Mt. Abe Mentors and Mobius. Superintendent David Young was the keynote speaker, and Jay Hoffman, 2013 Vermont Teacher of the Year, was the master of ceremonies. The strong sense of community was evident amongst attendees as they started new friendships and long-time colleagues had an opportunity to reconnect. People raved about the food from Chef Rhonda Ketner of the South Burlington School District and Chef Jim McCarthy, chef du cuisine at Shelburne Farms. The silent auction items included: a bag of delicious chocolates from Lake Champlain Chocolates, a set of antique china (donated by a mentor), a tattoo donated by Yankee Tattoo, and an original piece of artwork (donated by professional artist Dierdra Michelle, a mentor in the program). Throughout the night people were encouraged to leave notes at a Gratitude Table. Two of the best and simply put notes were: "I ♥ Mentors" and "Mentors! Rock!".
The Mentoring Project of the Upper Valley's Appreciation Dinner
On January 20th, a group of 40 volunteers, friends, and community members gathered at the Colatina Exit Restaurant to support the Mentoring Project of the Upper Valley (TMP). 14 special volunteer mentors were recognized at the event, two of whom were honored for their seven years of mentoring service. Chad Butt, the executive director of Mobius, was a guest at the dinner and was able to thank all the mentors for the difference they make in their mentees' lives. Teddy Mason-Sherwood and Tony Mason, who have served on TMP’s Advisory Board for more than three years, were also honored and thanked for their dedicated service. Framed certificates were presented to each mentor. A framed certificate was presented to Angela and Vinnie Wendell, owners of the Colatina Exit, for their consistent support of TMP over the years.
Twinfield Together Mentoring Appreciation Dinner
On January 22nd, 93 people came together to acknowledge and celebrate the impact mentoring has on the Marshfield and Plainfield community. The Twinfield Together Mentoring (TTMP) thanked 38 volunteer mentors with a dinner meal and dessert. Mentor pairs were recognized for the length of their relationship and presented with matching t-shirt gifts. To see a slide show of pictures from the event, visit TTMP’s webpage.
SB Mentoring Barnes and Noble Book Fair and Artists' Reception
On January 23rd, artists and art educators from grades K-8 in Chamberlin, Orchard, Rick Marcotte Central, and F.H. Tuttle Middle Schools in the South Burlington School District were honored at an Artists’ Reception at Barnes and Noble. The students’ art had been part of an SB Mentoring Art Exhibit in celebration of National Mentoring Month for the entire month of January. In addition to the student artists and their families, art teachers Joannie Wales (Chamberlin), Kelsey Lewis (Rick Marcotte Central), and Michelle Price (FHTMS) as well as Chamberlin Principal Holly Rouelle and Chamberlin School Counselor Dean Melen were also in attendance. Students came to the front of the store as their names were called to receive their certificate of gratitude from SB Mentoring.
The Annual Mentor Connector Bowl
On January 24th, Rutland Bowlerama hosted The Mentor Connector for the Annual Mentor Bowl Night! Around 50 teams (about 200 people) made up of mentors, mentees, community supporters and sponsors came out to support their local mentoring program. Many local businesses even participated by sending a team or two, including General Electric which sent nine teams! There was a lot of fun to be had amongst the bowling, the basket and bike raffle, silent auction, ice cream sundaes and face painting! The Mentor Connector board of directors organized and implemented most of the details--which helped make this a wonderful event. The Mentor Connector would like to thank corporate sponsor Vermont Electric Power Company, and strike sponsors Prescott Tower Service LTD, GE Volunteers, Jesser VT Gold and Patten Oil Co.
Monkton Mentors Dinner
On January 26th, the Monkton Mentors held a family dinner for the mentees, their families, and the Monkton Central School mentors. It was a wonderful event and many community families were pleased to attend a night of fun, recognition and good food. Principal Betsy Knox of MCS commented on how the "mentoring program supports students in so many ways."
Windsor County Partners Soda and Seltzer Tasting
On January 30th, Windsor County Partners (WCP) and 24 neighbors, volunteers, and mentees gathered together to celebrate the conclusion of National Mentoring Month. The gathering was held at Windsor House, home to WCP and other organizations. The theme of the evening was gourmet soda and seltzer tasting, which delighted guests, all of whom called for this to become an annual event.
WCP strives to build healthy communities through mentoring and this gathering reflected the organization's philosophy of community-building. Mentees visited with board members, while local business people learned from mentors about their experience as volunteers. Laura Page, former WCP board chair, commented, "It was so great to see all the kids at this event. As board members, we don't usually get to spend time with them. This really reminds us why we do what we do to promote mentoring." WCP looks forward to hosting the tasting again next year and inviting the public to come celebrate Vermont Mentoring Month!
10th Annual Everybody Wins! Vermont Read-A-Thon
On January 31st, it may have been below zero outside, but the National Life Group cafeteria was full of energy, excitement, and 600 books at the 10th Annual EverybodyWins! Vermont Read-A-Thon. Over 200 people came to read books, listen to Jon Gailmor, win fabulous prizes from Bear Pond Books, and eat cookies from the Post Office Cafe in Worcester. Between all the youth that came out, they collectively read 1,000 books in just and hour (some books may have been re-read and some people brought their own)! In addition to the successful Read-A-Thon, Everybody Wins! gave away over 100 books; one to every youth. Everybody Wins! thanks National Life Group, which makes the Read-A-Thon possible every year, and to Bear Pond Books and the Kellogg-Hubbard Library for their support.
Mentor Training: Vermont Women's Mentoring Program
Mentor training began yesterday, February 4, and runs each Wednesday for four weeks. Help make positive change today: support a woman making the transition from prison back into the community. The Vermont Women’s Mentoring Program is a collaborative partnership among Mercy Connections, Vermont Works for Women, and the Vermont Department of Corrections. If you are interested in becoming a mentor, contact Pam Greene (email@example.com) or 802-846-7164 today!
Peer Aggression Workshops
Vermont Works for Women has designed a new workshop that teaches educators, administrators, youth service providers, coaches, parents – all adults – how to identify, address and prevent peer aggression among girls. Join them for a half-day workshop in 2015. Upcoming half-day workshops focus on: "Strategies to Transform Peer Aggression Among Girls." This is an excellent primer on peer aggression (as distinct from bullying), and it provides adults with specific strategies on how to build supportive environments for all youth.
$50/Attendee Get tickets here.
When & Where:
Thursday, February 12th | 12:00-4:30pm
@ Hyde Park, VT
Thursday, March 12th | 12:00-4:30pm
@ Bennington, VT
Thursday, April 8th | 12:00-4:30pm
@ Randolph, VT
King Street Center's Grand Opening Celebration
Join the King Street Center for its Grand Opening Celebration on Wednesday, February 18 at 4pm. Kids, families, volunteers, neighbors and friends are coming together to celebrate the opening of the organization's new space at 87 King Street. The event will feature remarks from King Street Executive Director Vicky Smith, Governor Peter Shumlin, and Burlington Mayor, Miro Weinberger, followed by music and family-friendly activities galore! Check out the Facebook Event Page for updates and information.
When: Wednesday, February 18th | Starts at 4pm
Where: King Street Center | 87 King Street | Burlington, VT
Chittenden County Mentoring Network Meeting
The Chittenden County Mentoring Network (CCMN) welcomes all mentoring programs to attend the monthly meetings to network, brainstorm and learn from fellow mentoring programs. The CCMN is a group of mentoring program staff–community and school-based–who meet monthly to offer one another support, encouragement, ideas, and networking to further individual programs’ good work. Currently the group is comprised of programs from northwestern Vermont but any mentoring program is welcome to join the group. Meetings are held on the second Thursday of each month, from 12:00-2:00pm.
King Street Center
87 King Street
Thursday, February 12th
Gabe Tufo Strouse
Planning on attending? E-mail the CCMN group (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Mentor Webinar: Using Research
What: A free webinar on
"Using Research to Inform Your Mentoring Program"
Hosted by: The Collaborative Mentoring Webinar Series, a partnership of MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership and a planning team comprised of state mentoring partnerships and other national partners.
When: Thursday, February 19th, 2014 | 1:00-2:15pm
Register Information: FREE
"Is your mentoring program “research-based?” Sounds like an easy question, but it can be a bit more complicated to answer than many programs think. Incorporating research into a mentoring program’s practices is a constant balancing act for many practitioners between factors such as day-to-day workload, the availability relevant research, and questions about when and how to apply research and measure the impact. Join this webinar for a dialogue about how research can be used to inform your program’s design and implementation. Come with your research questions and learn how we can improve the research-to-practice process within the mentoring field!"
workshops help you get the most out of "your nation." These online sessions cover the ins and outs of organizing communities and are conducted by NationBuilder trainers and organizers. Check out all the upcoming workshops
that will be aired as webinars!
The Mobius Pick:
A free webinar on "Rethinking Nonprofit Engagement
Wednesday, February 11th, 2014 | 7:00-7:45am EST
FREE Trainings with Prevent Child Abuse Vermont for 2014-2015
Prevent Child Abuse Vermont (PCAV)
is now offering free trainings
to support providers, staff, and parents in preventing sexual abuse from occurring. For more information, contact PCAV here
or at 802-229-5724. Check out PCAV training opportunities here
Free UVM Hockey and Basketball Tickets for Mentor Pairs
Mobius is currently offering free tickets for mentor pairs to attend men’s ice hockey, women’s ice hockey, and men’s basketball games. There are two tickets available for each home game this season. Mentors, use this registration form to sign up for a game you would like to attend with your mentee! There are plenty of tickets still available, so feel free to sign up for any games that you would like to attend that are still open in the form.
Thank you to the generous donation from a UVM alumnus who made the tickets available to Vermont mentor pairs. For more information about each game, visit the UVM Athletics sporting event calendar.
View and Share The Mentoring Public Service Announcement
Did you know that 1 in 3 young Vermonters will grow up without a formal or natural mentor? That means 32,500 youth in Vermont do not have any adult they can turn to for support beyond their immediate family. Northbranch Media and Mobius worked together to create a new 30-second video to help spread awareness and recruit new mentors for young Vermonters!
Thank you, Northbranch Media, for donating your time and helping us raise awareness of the need for mentors in Vermont. Thanks also to Comcast, Vermont Mentoring Month Media Sponsor, who aired this video as a sponsored ad throughout the month of January. Share the video with your friends, followers, family and anyone you think would make a good mentor!
Video creation by: Northbranch Media
Media Sponsor: Comcast
Mobius Mentor Discount Card
Community-based Vermont mentors and mentees are now able to enjoy unique discounts from supportive local businesses all across the state. When a mentor makes a reservation or purchase at participating venues, he or she can present the Mobius Mentor Discount Card and receive a discount at that location. The initiative allows mentors to take their mentees to restaurants, theaters, museums, pools, and a variety of other fun places at a discounted price. For the full list of the more than 40 businesses that are participating in the program, visit the discount card web page.
Know a business that may want to join? Fill out this form.
Are you a Vermont business that would like to join the discount card?
E-mail Andreaholt@mobiusmentors.org or call 802.658.1888
Cabot's Reward Volunteers Program Offers Prizes to Mentors
Cabot Creamery Cooperative's “Reward Volunteers” initiative allows mentors to receive prizes for their service. Make sure you are not missing out! Log your mentoring hours through Mobius’ Vermont Mentoring Database to earn rewards and get a chance to win prizes. “The selection process for Rewards Volunteers prizes is random, but the more volunteer hours a user logs and the more they share their volunteer activity with their friends on Facebook, the more chances they have of winning.”
The Chronicle of Evidence-Based Mentoring Newsletter
“The Chronicle is an online source for sharing new findings and ideas about youth mentoring. The goal of the Chronicle is to encourage active dialogue around evidence-based practice in youth mentoring in ways that improve the practice of youth mentoring.” Mentoring programs, this is a great resource that includes: The Research Corner blog, an edited forum, new mentoring research, research from related fields, Q&A’s with researchers, and expert perspectives from the field’s leading researchers and practitioners. Start getting involved by subscribing to the Chronicle newsletter
or by visiting the Chronicle site
|Mobius, Vermont's Mentoring Partnership
20 Winooski Falls Way #105
Winooski, VT 05404