CISRC needs male mentors

Feb. 01, 2013 @ 03:22 AM

Communities in Schools of Rutherford County (CISRC) is in need of male mentors.

"We have 60 mentors who work with students and only 10 of them are male," said Amy Revis, CIS mentor manager and site coordinator. "We need more positive male role models because we want to offer a varied support system for the students."

According to Brenda Watson, executive director of CISRC, this is a trend for many non-profits.

"A lot of non-profits have mainly women volunteers. And women are usually the ones that deal with homework and schoolwork," Watson said.

Revis says that CISRC wants to recruit more males because many students are in need of a strong male role model.

"Boys need a good example of men to emulate, especially in those cases where they don't have one at home," Revis said.

"We do everything we can to help the students with their physical needs. We have helped with food, shoes, clothes, glasses and a variety of different things. We want to be able to do that same thing by providing role models."

CISRC provides mentors for students in elementary and middle school. Each mentor must go through an hour-long mentor training session before they can interact with a student.

During the training, mentors will learn tips on how to relate to students, how to connect with their needs and what the mentee and mentor will get out of the experience.

"If a church, business or organization wants to look into being mentors, we can come to them and do the training. They don't have to decide right then if they want to mentor, they can decide later," Revis said.

The organization also offers a lunch buddy program for those that do not think they have the time to commit to mentoring. A person can simply visit the child at school and eat lunch with them.

"If a man would rather do the lunch buddy program, he can come for 45 minutes once a week and eat lunch with the student. That way he is still bonding with the child and they have that presence," Revis said. "If you aren't sure you want to be a mentor, it is a good jumping off point. If you start to feel more comfortable, you can move on to mentoring."

Watson and Revis said hat people need to be aware that being a mentor does not mean you have to teach or help with homework. As long as you can be a constant in the child's life, you can be a mentor.

"It means you are getting that one-on-one relationship with a child. We are not asking you to be a teacher or parent. The most important thing is that you are a friend," Revis said. "If the child does need help, there are fun ways to do it. You can play games to make learning fun."

The mentor program is open to people of all ages. Many times the mentors find it just as rewarding as the students.

"We have children who need an extra boost and we have children that have been through rough times. We want all of them to succeed and live up to their potential," Revis said.

If you are interested in becoming a mentor, they can email Executive Director of CISRC Brenda Watson at cisrcinfo@gmail.com or call 828-288-0228.