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Mentors make a difference

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January is Mentor Appreciation Month for the Carroll County Public School System.
Do you have one hour a week that needs a special purpose? Do you have the desire to make a difference in a child's life — give the child a special time just for him or her?
MAD‑MAC (Make‑a‑Difference/Mentor‑a‑Child) is a program in the Carroll schools, designed to match adult mentors with elementary school children needing additional support.
The child is paired with a mentor, and the two meet at least once a week on school property.
Mentoring activities depend on the student's needs and interests, such as having lunch together, reading a book, working a puzzle, playing a game, or just sitting and talking.
Mentors are typically with their students for the school year, although some have continued their relationship. The mentor's role involves modeling of social skills, fostering positive growth, acting as a role model and friend, while stimulating the youth's development in character and competence.
The relationship is based on respect, commitment, and friendship.
Mentors must complete an application, a background check, and training; and commit to meet for at least one hour every week during school hours for the remainder of the school year.
Our dedicated mentors support and inspire mentees to fulfill their potential and to reach their goals. Special qualifications are not required. People who have a heart to work with elementary age children often do a great job mentoring.
We need additional mentors, especially males who would be interested in working with elementary age boys at any of our seven elementary schools.
We have the support and encouragement of the Carroll County Public School System. In addition, we have a dedicated advisory board that works closely with us in implementing our program.
The members are: Monica Cochran‑Thompson, Patricia Frost, Patricia Golding, Trudi Golding, Kristie Haga, Jonathan Heller, Erroll Jett, Brittany Leonard and Sabrina Webb.
Also, we have dedicated support and backing from Alejandra Silva‑Tucci, Carroll County school social worker; and Tonyia Gibson, AmeriCorps director.
Anyone interested in becoming a mentor may contact coordinator Mark Deaton at (276) 728‑3191 to request an application.
Mark Deaton
Hillsville