Wicomico Co. Mentoring Project looking for mentors
WICOMICO CO., Md. – A mentoring program in Wicomico County is all about helping children, but to do that, organizers need you to get involved.
“We need to find people, we need mentors to come into our schools, to set up to be mentors,” Mark Thompson said. He’s the coordinator for The Wicomico Mentoring Project, a program that brings role models right into schools in Wicomico County to work alongside kids.
“What we find out is sometimes our students don’t have someone at home who is looking at their homework, who is encouraging them for something they did at school, so that’s why even at an age as young as kindergarten, when they have a picture they drew or something they colored, they need a caring adult to look at that and just be excited for them,” Thompson said.
After taking a year long break during the pandemic, the program is back in full swing. But Thompson says there’s one issue: actually getting mentors to sign up. To bring more people in, he says they changed the program a bit to fit people’s schedules.
“What we have this year, I call it the a la carte mentoring, where you can do whatever you want to do, you can do lunchtime mentoring, you can come in at breakfast and eat lunch, or you can do group mentoring, or you can do the traditional one-on-one mentoring,” Thompson said.
No matter what style of mentoring you choose, Thompson says it’s all about bringing experiences that you’ve lived to students inside of the schools.
“Talk about when you were in a foreign country, talk about why your language is different, use every moment, I say, as a teachable moment for our young people,” he said.
And if you’re thinking, ‘Well I don’t have much to offer a mentee,’ Thompson says think again.
“Never think you have nothing to offer, you have something to offer to a child who is sitting in their classroom right now, struggling because they have no-one around them who is motivating them, encouraging them, pushing them to do better,” he said. “You have what it takes.”
Thompson says they do also offer virtual mentoring, but he does say that students typically aren’t as excited about that format because they want to be talking with somebody in person. If you’re interested in mentoring, you can call Thompson at 410-677-4536.