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INFORMATIONAL LETTER: 59

 

POLICY CODE: IMD

 

TO:           Superintendents, Principals, and Guidance Counselors

 

FROM:     J. Duke Albanese, Commissioner

 

DATE:      March 6, 2001

 

RE:            Mentor Recognition Day and Mentor Awareness Month to be Proclaimed

                                                            March 12, 2001

 

 

       I would like to bring to your attention an important date for those of you who have mentoring programs in your schools that provide caring and committed relationships between youth and adults as a way to support the aspirations and development of your students.  March 12th is Mentor Recognition Day and it is a special opportunity to say “Thank you” to the caring volunteers who serve as mentors in your school programs.

 

       Mentor Recognition Day will be celebrated in the Hall of Flags at the State House in Augusta.  The purpose of the day is two fold: to recognize the important role mentors are playing in young people’s lives, and to heighten legislators’ awareness of what mentoring is accomplishing in their home districts. 

       At 11:30 a.m., Governor King will hold a press conference in the Hall of Flags.  Not only will he recognize the important work of mentors and thank them for their work on behalf of Maine youth, but he will also declare March as Mentoring Awareness Month.  Having your mentors on hand would be a great way to have them recognized for their efforts.

       Many of you have exciting programs, which would be of interest to legislators as they seek ways to best provide a healthy environment for youth.  Legislators will be invited to meet with mentors from their districts and to learn more about the difference mentors make in the lives of your students.  You and your mentors are critical to increasing their understanding of the benefits of mentoring to your community.

       In addition to displays in the Hall of Flags there will be information available about Maine’s diverse mentoring programs.  To ensure that your program is listed, please check the Statewide Mentoring Opportunities link on the Maine Mentoring Partnership website (www.MaineMentoring.org.) If your program is not there, contact Susan Kring at 287-8790 or susan.kring@state.me.us. 

 

       As you know, the effects of mentoring are enormous--nationally, studies have shown that youth who meet regularly with their mentors are 46% less likely than their peers to start using illegal drugs, 27% less likely to start drinking and 33% less likely to hit someone.  Mentoring reduces recidivism up to 80%.  In one Maine high school program (Pathway Partners, SAD#58), 98% of the seniors with mentors went on to higher education.  We know you have similar stories to tell.

       I hope that you will recognize your local mentors on this day, or sometime during March, Mentoring Awareness Month, as well as participate in the activities in Augusta. For more information on the day and how you can get involved, please call Karen Heck at (207) 861-8131 or Liz Merrifield at (207) 626-3441.

 

 

JDA/vs