Casselberry Elementary Mentor Program 2011-2012 – Mentor/Mentee Testimony
Mentor Testimony: Melissa Baker
Mentoring is a very rewarding experience. To have the ability of make a child smile or to watch the "light go on" as they understand a concept is invaluable. I thoroughly enjoyed working with my mentee and hope to do so in the future.
Mentor Testimonial: Lorraine Negergaard
Mentoring was enjoyable, interesting and frustrating. The child I mentored was a sweet boy who was always excited to see me. At times he was responsive, but other times he had difficultly focusing and was hyper active. I did feel ineffective. I would like to mentor again however I must admit I did feel inadequate with this child. I tried using puzzles, flash cards, reading, drawing, play money etc. I did not feel his response. I would like to try mentoring again perhaps I could be more effective my second year.
Mentor Testimonial: Ove Negergaard
The first young man I mentored was named Danovon was bright with a great imagination. He was very receptive to having a mentor. He was absent frequently so Ms. Akerson gave me a second boy to mentor named Kyle. After that happened, Donavon attendance seemed to straighten out. I then had 2 boys to mentor. Danovan was frequently tired because his home environment was noisy, preventing him from sleeping. Kyle has a more stable environment and his responsiveness and attention was very good. Both boys were very nice to mentor even though their home conditions were very different my feelings of success were different with each boy.
Mentor Testimony: Lisa Tipton
It’s never quite what you expect when you accept a role of a mentor. In a way, it begins with thinking you are simply a ‘warm body’ available to spend time with a student in need. No attachment, no strings attached, one hour/ week – simply another activity on my "to do" list that is a great opportunity to serve my community. Rather quickly it changes. The "name" I was assigned quickly became an adorable little boy named Nahj who stole my heart!Nahj and I immediately had a lot in common. God knew this and picked us for each other. I actually hoped for a little boy because I am so athletic and the out of doors type, not one who likes to sit and play games or read much. When I heard Nahj liked sports too, it was never-ending fun for both of us. More importantly, his teacher, Mrs. Brillant, specifically told me that i did not need to focus on homework or help with classroom skills but rather she hoped I could just "play" with him. That was all I needed to hear.
I brought in all the sports equipment I kept from my son, now 19, when he played sports. Nahj learned tennis, how to swing Josh’s first set of golf clubs and I pitched baseballs to him, which he hit with my son’s old bat. I learned he liked to give up easily when he didn’t "get it" at first, but we persevered through that and I showed him how much practice it takes to learn something new. By the end of the semester, he was hitting tennis balls like crazy. I only wished we had a real court with a net so we could have learned more about the game. We always ran out of time. We were always late for lunch (oops!) because we didn’t want to stop!
Nahj is much more creative and artistic than I, so when we saw a crayon wreath hanging on another teacher’s door, Nahj commented how much he liked it and further that he wanted to MAKE ONE for his teacher! The challenge was on, so I proceeded to take a picture and make my way to Michael’s craft store for the help I needed. We had to sometimes "force" ourselves to work on the craft when we preferred to go outside and play tennis or basketball. But we did it! We completed the project just perfectly in time for Teacher Appreciation Week at the school. I wrapped it up and Nahj wrote his teacher a sweet card. He presented it to her a few weeks ago. She was thrilled, but more importantly Nahj was thrilled! He completed a long-term project that took much dedication and determination on both our parts for that matter! My family even began to talk about the things I did each week with Nahj. I had hoped to bring my 19-year-old son with me to meet Nahj, but since Josh was away at college we didn’t get the chance. But you can be sure, my family "knows" Nahj. I have asked if I can "keep him" next year when he is in first grade. Now that we have a relationship, i want it to continue. I cannot imagine next year’s schedule without my calendar saying "Casselberry Elementary/Nahj 10am Wednesdays." The last day, I gave Nahj a tennis racket and balls so he could practice over the summer. I think I"ll try to figure out how to bring a net next year! Thanks, Nahj, for capturing my heart and turning my mentoring experience into way more than I expected. I was the one blessed. Can’t wait to see you next year!
Kyle: I like when I do the flash cards, mentoring has helped me with my math.
Demon: I like mentoring because its fun and I learn things. It helped with my A, B, C’s.
Christopher B.: I like mentoring because I have a reading buddy. It’s helped me with my reading and behavior at home.
C.J.: Mentoring helped me with my writing and encouraged me. I like my mentor, she helps with my work and makes it fun to learn.
Preston P: I enjoy the math we do together that helps me in class and playing games together. It really helped me with my math.
Xavier: I like playing games with my mentor. I learned to control my anger.