Why was my child selected for the program?
Every chapter of College Mentors for Kids partners with specific local elementary schools, and schools select kids to participate each year. In the program, kids benefit from spending time with a mentor and exploring a college campus.
Who are the mentors? Will I get to meet my child’s mentor?
Mentors are college students enrolled at a university with a chapter of College Mentors for Kids. Family members are invited to attend both the first and last activities of every year, so you will have an opportunity to meet your child’s mentor.
How are mentors screened/trained?
College students apply annually to be mentors and are interviewed and selected by college student leaders at their chapter. Every mentor is also required to pass a background check of the national criminal database and sex offender registry. A new background check is run every year a mentor participates in the program. All mentors are also required to complete both online and in-person trainings before they begin mentoring.
How long will my child be with his/her assigned mentor?
Mentors and kids are both asked to commit to the program for one full academic year. If a mentor does leave the program early, your child will have an opportunity to be matched with a new mentor, but we make every effort to keep pairs together for a minimum of one school year. If both the mentor and child return the following year, they will be re-matched whenever possible.
How much does it cost?
The program is completely free for families.
How will the kids get to the college campus?
A bus will arrive at the elementary/middle school at the end of the day to bring the kids to campus. In addition to the bus driver, at least two college students will ride the bus with the kids each week to ensure that they arrive on campus safely.
How will they get home?
This varies by chapter. At some sites, you may need to pick up your child from campus or the elementary/middle school. At other sites, the bus can drop the children off at home or community centers. You will be able to see all of the transportation options available for your child’s school when you register your child, and you will have an opportunity to choose the one that best fits your needs. Please note that at some chapters, only one transportation option is available.
What is expected of children’s families?
Families of little buddies are expected to enroll their children by the deadline set by the elementary/middle school. They are also expected to help ensure their child attends activities each week since consistent attendance is important for providing kids with the best experience possible. In addition, families who are asked to pick up their children on campus or at the elementary/middle school should be on time and bring a photo ID to show when signing the child out.
How will you keep my child safe?
College student leaders are given extensive in-person crisis management training, and all mentors are required to take an online safety training each year they participate in the program. Mentors and kids always do activities in a group setting and are never alone together. Each chapter also has a list of emergency numbers that includes the local police, the partner at the elementary/middle school, the faculty advisor on campus, and the national office of College Mentors for Kids.
Does the program last the entire school year?
Activities begin in the fall and run through the spring, and they are held once a week for two hours. The program follows the academic calendar, so if there is a day that either the university or elementary/middle school is not in session, there will not be an activity.
How long can my child participate?
We ask kids in our program to participate for a minimum of one full academic year, but we encourage multiple-year participation. Your child will be able to continue in College Mentors for Kids as long as they attend one of our partner schools and are invited by the school to participate.
Can I enroll my other children?
Our partner schools typically make an effort to invite siblings into the program whenever possible. Nationally, our program includes 1st-6th grade students, but the grade levels sometimes vary by chapter. If you have another child that attends the same school as the one who received an invitation to enroll in College Mentors for Kids, please reach out to the school contact listed on the invitation letter to inquire about enrolling you other child(ren).
After I submit my registration, what are next steps?
Once you submit your registration, you should wait to hear from the school about whether your child was selected for the program. If your child is selected, you will receive a calendar with activity dates for the year.
Do you help with homework?
No, we focus on instilling the importance of education at a young age but do not provide tutoring or homework help.
I want to enroll my child but he/she does not attend one of the elementary schools partnered with College Mentors for Kids. What can I do?
While we are only able to enroll children that attend one of our partner schools, there are many great mentoring programs that may be a great fit for your child. Look for a Big Brothers Big Sisters affiliate near you, or visit the MENTOR Connector at https://www.mentoring.org/get-involved/find-a-mentor/#zipsearch2 to search for programs in your area. You can also talk to the guidance counselor or social worker at your child’s school for more information about local mentoring programs.