Be a Mentor
Volunteer to mentor with our MentorWorks program
Mentoring Students in FCPS
The mission of the MentorWorks program is to eliminate gaps in opportunity, access, and achievement through mentoring and to ensure that every FCPS student can name an adult they can talk to.
Our mentors are caring, responsible volunteers who give one-on-one time to FCPS students while encouraging them to develop their strengths and capabilities. Mentoring is not tutoring and is not grounded in academic support.
Recent Questions from Prospective Mentors
- Attention and Support: Mentors provide dependable and consistent attention. They support their mentee by encouraging them to reach their full potential.
- Enrichment: A mentor guides their mentee by connecting them with resources, safe places, and structured activities. A mentor encourages self-advocacy and helps their mentee see and strive for horizons and possibilities that may not be apparent to them in their current environment.
- Academic Support: Although mentoring is not tutoring, goal-setting and encouragement can increase academic success and school engagement for a mentee.
- College/Career Guidance: A mentor helps their mentee discover and develop their interests. Mentors can provide assistance in obtaining a marketable skill through support of education, and by providing them with an opportunity to give back through community service.
- Mentors are placed in a school that is near where they live or work by the mentoring specialist. Once assigned, they are strategically matched to a mentee by school personnel.
- Mentoring relationships develop and strengthen over time and are rooted in continuous support as a mentee grows up and matures.
- If the relationship is strong, mentors and mentees stay together as the student moves from one grade to the next and to middle or high school.
- The majority of our mentoring relationships begin with in-person visits at the student’s school site during the school day.
- Typically, mentors meet with students every week for at least 30 minutes (though this is somewhat flexible). In elementary school, meetings usually take place during lunch. In middle school and high school, meetings can take place during breakfast, lunch, remediation time or after school.
- Virtual meetings can be blended with in-person meetings. Each mentoring relationship is unique, so the balance between virtual and in-person meetings is determined on a case-by-case basis.
- Sometimes, we will match a mentor and mentee with the understanding that it will be virtual-only. Typically, virtual-only mentoring is for students who are in middle or high school and/or if the purpose of the mentoring is related to a specific career path or other special circumstances.
- It is always our goal to get new mentors matched with a mentee, and decisions around whether mentoring will be in-person or virtual are made on a case-by-case basis.
- On the registration form, you will be asked to select the school(s) where you would like to mentor. School selection is very important. It is recommended that you choose schools that you can get to during the school day.
- Even with virtual mentoring as an option, meeting face-to-face (in some capacity) is an important part of the mentoring relationship. In addition, most schools sponsor mentoring events that are scattered throughout the year, and you might want to attend those events with your mentee.
Mentors are considered essential visitors. This means that even if there are restrictions in place for visitors in schools, mentors are allowed to meet with their mentees on school grounds. All mentors visiting schools must comply with school visitor polices.
At this time:
- Mentors and students who participate in a mentoring program are not required to be vaccinated against COVID-19 and therefore, you will not be required to provide proof of vaccination.
- Masks are optional for everyone inside and outside of school buildings.
- Partner-designated program coordinator will recruit mentors on a mutually agreed upon schedule.
- Partner-designated program coordinator will work with FCPS Mentoring Specialist to coordinate training, background checks, and mentor placement.
- The FCPS Mentoring Specialist will train new mentors, arrange for fingerprinting, and place mentors in schools.
- After placement, mentor and mentee pairs are supported at the school level by the school-based mentoring coordinator.
READY TO BECOME A MENTOR?
Interested in finding a mentor for your child?
Are you a business or community group interested in mentoring students?
For more information on how to mentor students in FCPS or to learn more about mentoring partnerships with FCPS, please contact Martha Macdonald, Mentoring Specialist, [email protected].
Educate Fairfax raises funds to support the MentorWorks program. Your financial gift will assist program coordinators in their efforts to support mentor/mentee pairs through special events, activities, and field trips. Enrichment activities and field trips build community and eliminate gaps in opportunity, access, and achievement.