Since 1994, the BRIDGES mentoring program has been pairing students in the Fort Dodge Community Schools with caring individuals to help them establish a positive and encouraging relationships to help them succeed in school and in life.
The program has grown significantly in the 16 years since it began, and is seeking more individuals to meet the needs of a growing waiting list. There are currently more than 100 students with mentors, along with a waiting list of around 25 students.
"We're always looking for a few more good people who can come in and do a variety of activities with the kids," said Corey Moody, BRIDGES mentoring coordinator. "They have been so effective."
The BRIDGES program serves students in kindergarten through 12th grade, with many mentors starting with elementary students to allow them to form a trusting relationship that will see the student through to their high school years.
"We're looking to add to our elementary students," Moody said. "Most mentors start with a student around second or third grade and meet with them once a week for an hour. As the student gets older, they build a good rapport and continue to help them with their goals and future plans."
Moody said the activities that each pair takes part in vary from one student to the next and include everything from helping them with their schoolwork to going out to lunch.
To become a mentor call Corey Moody, BRIDGES mentoring coordinator for Fort Dodge Community Schools at 574-5469.
"The most important thing is that the mentor just be consistent," he said. "It shows the student they care about their well-being."
The majority of BRIDGES mentors are employed full-time, but Moody said most employers are flexible and willing to work with the mentors to give them time to be with their student.
"Employers have been great; they're willing to give that time to let their staff members spend time mentoring," he said.
Anyone interested in becoming a mentor may contact Moody at 574-5469.
"Any student can benefit from having a mentor, an extra caring adult in their life," said Moody. "We're not just targeting a specific group of students."
Contact Emilie Nelson at (515) 573-2141 or firstname.lastname@example.org