Mentorship Program Report 2014
We have achieved continued improvement in the structure and operations of COBA’s mentorship program, despite our challenge to attract significantly more mentors who are willing and able to commit to and participate in the program. A lot of the challenging students require more expert intervention or a more targeted approach. As mentors we seek to assist the school in providing the students with the necessary guidance to achieve success.
Review of the Past Year
During the academic year 2013-14, the total mentors amounted to approximately 19 (up from 17 in the previous year, however we lost 3 mentors to attrition). Mentors were primarily assigned to Grades 7 and 8. Each Friday morning between 7:30am and 8am, this group of dedicated men, devoted their time to share experiences and offer guidance to the boys during what is dubbed “The Mentorship Moment”. This Mentorship Moment comprises a 5 minute Devotion, 5 Minute Calabar History Moment and concludes with the Presentation Topic for the day. Topics covered have ranged from “The true meaning of our schools motto”, Why Are We Here”, “Attaining Academic Success” and “Developing Positive Relationships with Females” to name a few. Based on our analysis and that of the school’s academic staff, the students have demonstrated improvement in behaviour and academic results. These reports demonstrate to us that the mentorship program can be and will be a catalyst for change, in the overall conduct and academic success of the students.
During the year, the mentors’ weekly Wednesday meetings were reduced to bi-weekly meetings in the Staff Lounge promptly at 6:30pm, sharing mentorship moments experiences, planning discussion topics for each Friday and strategizing the structure of the Mentorship program. The Mentorship Core Group met bi-weekly (on the off days). The structure of the program is as follows:
Chairman (Howard James)
Co-Chair (Paul Moses)
Core Group Mentors (Pete Smith, Michael Ennis, Michael Smellie and Patrick Phillips)
Additionally, core Mentorship Program functions were defined as follows:
- Mentorship Administration – Howard James
- Mentor recruitment – Paul Moses and Howard James
- Mentor training and development – Percival Palmer
- School and COBA Liaison/PR – Paul Moses and Michael Ennis
The Vision and Mission statements are as follows:
Provide mentees with positive, successful life and school-life skills, geared towards a sustainable balance between academic success and other pursuits (athletic and other social involvement), via positive, informed role model interaction with Calabar Past Students and other skilled professionals.
Comprise committed, adequately trained and skilled mentors, working consistently with one or more boys for at least one year; whose goal is to seek to assist with realizing the full potential of his mentee(s), during and subsequent to their tenure at Calabar High School.
The new Principal (Mr. Albert Corcho) is in full support of the program and has met with the Mentorship Program’s School Liaison Team on a number of occasions and continues to provide guidance and support in the relevant areas. Among other things, he has accepted and implemented a number of programs suggested by the mentorship group (including a student athlete academic intervention program), and identified specific challenges and solutions which will be addressed over the summer and the new academic year.
We consider (among other things) Mentors’ Training, Mentor/Teacher and Mentor Parent workshops, to be critical to the success of the mentorship program.
We believe that the best structure for any successful mentorship program requires (amongst other things) a one to one relationship between mentor and mentee. Our new thrust will surround training and recruitment of mentors and workshops with Teachers and Parents as we see this as critical to the success of the mentorship program. In the mean time (due to limited mentors), we seek to at least have one mentor for every classroom. It is our objective to, in the first instance, attract another 21 mentors for all 40 classes. For each school year we need to attract at least 40 new mentors (preferably 80 so that mentors could alternate each week), with the ultimate ambitious aim of assigning one mentor to each student (a total of 1,500) in at most 5 years time. While we understand the difficulty in finding the time to commit to every Friday morning between 7:30 and 8:00, we implore you to make whatever sacrifice necessary to participate in our mentorship program, as we believe it partially holds the key to the solution of social re-engineering necessary for students’ success. We need much more Old boys/past students to answer the call of commitment to your school, with a resounding Here Sir!