Safety is our top priority. Therefore, we are committed to following not only the school district’s screening requirements but also adhering to best practices set by MENTOR, the National Mentoring Partnership.
All of our volunteers are thoroughly screened and trained before having any contact with students. All volunteers (individuals serving as mentors and events or program support) are approved Grand Rapids Public Schools volunteers and pass a nationwide criminal background check.
The screening process for mentors includes:
- A written application
- An interview with program staff
- A Background check (National Criminal background check, State of Michigan Child Abuse and Neglect Registry Clearance, Sex Offender registry)
- 2 References
- A Grand Rapids Public Schools Volunteer Badge
- A 3 hour pre-match training (topics include: mentoring role, appropriate mentoring activities, boundaries, separation of church and state, prevention and reporting of child abuse and neglect, closure)
- An annual commitment agreement
SCHOOL-BASED. YOUTH FOCUSED.
Wondering if students and mentors will meet outside of school? Not if you don’t want them to. Affinity Mentoring offers a primarily school-based program. That means, in order for a student and mentor to meet outside of school, the mentor, student, parent, and program staff must first meet and come to an agreement on what the outside relationship will look like. Until that happens, meeting outside of school won’t. Because it’s the children, not the activities, that matter.
The opportunity for your child to walk with a mentor is available. If you’d like to learn more or request that they be matched with a mentor, please let us know. Students that are in kindergarten through 5th grade at one of our partner schools may be referred to the mentoring program at any time by their parents or teachers. Once your child is matched, you will be able to communicate directly with their mentor as needed. If you do not receive your mentor’s contact info, feel free to contact the Affinity Mentoring staff.
To qualify for a mentor, the student must:
- Be enrolled in Kindergarten through 5th grade at one of our partner schools
- Obtain permission from parent/guardian
- Be willing to be a good friend to his/her mentor
- Be willing/able to meet for one hour a week for a school year
- Not have plans to change schools for the school year
IN IT TOGETHER
Parents have an integral role in their child’s mentoring experience. The more supportive you are, the more likely the mentoring relationship will be a healthy and successful one. To support your student’s mentoring relationship, you can be a good listener, a cheerleader, a voice of gratitude and an active member of the mentoring team. And, our program staff are here to support you in navigating this mentoring journey every step of the way.