BridgeWays’ Links-Up Mentoring program connects the kind of children who need additional role models in their lives to the kind of role models they want to emulate: Namely, college students who care about them individually, and about life in general.
Toward that end, we recruit and train our mentors to work, in pairs, as mentors to young people in elementary and middle schools. Teachers and counselors at the schools we serve, in the Central Alabama area, select participants in the mentor groups based on key criteria. Typically, they select students showing early indicators of troublesome behaviors, IE: Withdrawal, increased absenteeism, recent onset of academic performance or behavioral disruptions, change in peer group.
Our mentors facilitate group discussions around the topics of self-esteem, decision-making, emotion control, anger management, communication, teamwork, conflict resolution, and family relationships. Mentors encourage the young participants’ growth and development — both by example, and by empowering them with the knowledge & wisdom to make wise decisions.
BridgeWays thoroughly background-screens, and intensively trains, our mentors — who are then "linked-up" with small groups of children, and meet with them for one hour weekly. They conduct age-appropriate activities and lesson plans that are both engaging and educational for participants.
Mentors learn to cultivate, in their groups, a warm, accepting atmosphere — in which children become increasingly comfortable discussing their problems and feelings. Moreover, the small-group environment inspires participants to support each other, as they explore triggers that can lead to inappropriate behaviors and poor decisions.
*Pre and post measurements prove the efficacy of the program and small group experience.
For Links-Up Resources, click here.
Contact: Program Manager, Gina Weaver, 205.208.3045, Gina.Weaver@BridgeWaysAL.org