The Tomah Area School District is continuing a mentor program at Lemonweir Elementary School which began last school year.

The program is a coordinated effort by Tomah Area School District, Gundersen Global Partners, and volunteers in the Tomah community. Volunteers will be paired to help students transition into the school day to be successful in their school environment.

A study conducted in 2007 by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation reported that mentored youth did significantly better than youth in the non-mentored comparison group on a number of important outcome measures, including:

  • Fewer depressive symptoms
  • Greater acceptance by their peers
  • More positive beliefs about their ability to succeed in school
  • Better grades in school.

Mentors from the Tomah community will volunteer one morning each week between 7:15-8:15 a.m. Mentors can volunteer more than one morning each week if their schedule allows.

Each student selected for the mentorship program by Lemonweir School staff will be paired with a mentor who can provide consistent weekly support during the school year. The mentors will greet their students when they arrive at school, sit with students and talk to them, escort students to lockers and classroom and help them get organized and coach students through transition into the classroom. The focus will be on building a trusting relationship and allowing the student to experience positive adult contact.

Anyone interested can find more information and the volunteer application on the District website,tomah.education. Look for the “mentorship” link that will lead to the Lemonweir homepage.

An orientation for the program will be held in early August. Contact the school district social worker, Jesana Denter-Eckelberg, at 608-374-1714 or jesanadenter@tomah.education with any questions.

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Tomah Journal editor

Steve Rundio is editor of the Tomah Journal. Contact him at 608-374-7785.

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