Volunteers: Middle School Mentor Program

volunteer helping a student

What is the Middle School Mentor Program?

The Bethel Mentor Program pairs caring and committed community members with middle school students who are interested in getting extra support. The pairs meet weekly during lunch for conversation and sharing. Mentors must commit to volunteering weekly for the 2023-24 school year, pass a criminal background check, and participate in a short training. Mentors receive ongoing support and guidance on building an effective mentor relationship from the program coordinators throughout the school year.

The Bethel School District launched a pilot mentor program in the 2019-2020 school year at Cascade and Shasta middle schools. The program was put on hold once the pandemic began and restarted in October 2022.

How Does Mentoring Help Students?

Mentoring in the middle school years is important because it is a time when students may feel isolated or lonely amid a variety of challenges. By matching middle school students with adults in the community, the Bethel Mentor Program provides students with an opportunity to have one-on-one time with a caring adult during lunch each week to share their interests, strengths, and concerns. three students in classroom working on a painting project

Just by being there to listen each week, mentors model a trusting relationship and can offer the encouragement and support students need. Research shows that mentoring may help students improve their self-esteem, socialization skills, and compatibility with peers, as well as their outlook on school and life. In addition, mentored students are more likely to have better school attendance.

This type of support is especially important in today’s world. Many students are struggling with gaps in academic and social-emotional learning after a year or more of virtual learning, and in many ways, the world seems like a more complex place. A consistent relationship with trusted adults is one of the foundations of helping students develop resilience–the ability to thrive amid the challenges they face.

How Do I Become a Volunteer Mentor?

Thank you for your interest in the mentor program. Please begin by completing an online background check here. You may choose the school (Cascade or Shasta) at which you want to mentor.

In order to ensure confidentiality in the mentor relationship, parents of students at Cascade and Shasta may not mentor at their student’s school. If your student attends Cascade, you may be a mentor at Shasta; if your student attends Shasta, you may mentor at Cascade.

After you have completed your volunteer background check, please submit a Mentor Application here.

Once we have received all your information, we will be in touch with you by email to let you know about the required training.

If you have any questions, please email bethelmentorprogram@bethel.k12.or.us We look forward to mentoring with you!

Middle schools and mentoring schedules (2023-24)

Middle schools and mentoring schedules (2023-24)

Cascade Middle School (Thursdays)

1525 Echo Hollow Road

  •      First lunch: 11:24-12:03 (6th graders)
  •      Second lunch: 12:12-12:51 (7th graders)

Shasta Middle School (Tuesdays)

4656 Barger Drive

  •  First lunch: 12:14-12:46 (6thand 7th graders)
  • Second lunch: 1:08-1:40 (7thgraders)