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MATES having positive impact on students

Article Category  Current News
Date Published  Thursday, July 25 2019
Author Dimboola Courier
Photo  Dimboola Courier

MATES having positive impact on students
A morning tea at Dimboola Primary School this morning celebrated the MATES Mentoring program at the school and facilitated a discussion on the program moving forward.

Current mentees Charlotte and Matilda presented their mentor Gladys Schwarz with a mug printed with handwritten ‘thank you’ notes. Gladys is one of two mentors currently volunteering at the school.

An overwhelming message at the morning tea was the really positive impact that the mentoring program has on its participants – the students and adults alike.

Dimboola Primary School Principal Greg Sampson thanks the current mentors and would love to see more people come on board.

“Youth mentoring has over the years demonstrated a significant positive impact on class behaviour, peer connection, self-esteem, teachability, and the general wellbeing of the children. MATES is a meaningful program for our community,” Greg said.

The Wimmera Southern Mallee LLEN – who facilitates the program in 18 schools throughout the region – says that “it only takes 24 hours to change a life”.

They ask that mentors meet with their mentee for an hour a fortnight for a year - although many participants form much longer-lasting friendships.

Activities will depend largely on personal interests, although may include cooking, kicking a football, gardening, photography, playing board games, or simply having a chat.

A survey of the students involved in the program has shown impressive results: increased confidence, better attitudes towards school and attendance, and better self-esteem.

The program has been running at Dimboola Primary School for three years but has a strong connection to the town of Dimboola, with Dimboola Memorial Secondary College having been part of the pilot program almost a decade ago.

Organisers are on the lookout for more mentors to play a positive role in the lives of young people in our schools.

“We’d encourage anyone with a working with children check and a genuine care for young people to get involved,” Greg said.

“There is a significant number of children who would benefit from additional adult role models in their lives.”

If you are interested in hearing more about the program without any obligation, feel free to contact the Wimmera Southern Mallee LLEN (5381 0122) or Greg Sampson at the Dimboola Primary School (5389 1270).


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