The Mayor’s Mentoring Initiative provides up to two hours of administrative leave time per week for full-time City of Pittsburgh employees to serve as mentors through the Be A Middle School Mentor Program or Reading is Fundamental Pittsburgh’s Everybody Wins! program. During work time hours, up to one hour is allowed for mentoring, and up one hour is allowed for transportation to and from the school. This is an ongoing commitment throughout most of the Pittsburgh Public School’s school year.
#2: Why should I become a mentor?
There is a wealth of research available that supports the positive effects of school-based mentoring. At its most basic level, mentoring helps because it guarantees a young person that there is someone who cares about them. A child is not alone in dealing with day-to-day worries.
Mentored youths have better attendance; a better chance of going on to higher education; and better attitudes toward school.
Mentoring appears to help prevent substance abuse and reduce some negative youth behaviors.
Taking part in mentoring promotes positive social attitudes and relationships. Mentored youths tend to trust their parents more and communicate better with them.
#3: What do mentors do?
Through the Mayor’s Mentoring Initiative, City employees are able to mentor a local student through one of the following three options.
Be a Middle School Mentor
Be A Middle School Mentor is designed to match caring, well-prepared adults with sixth through eighth grade students in Pittsburgh Public Schools to help them develop career aspirations and encourage academic excellence.
Mentors are assigned to a partner mentoring agency and a specific school that is responsible for contacting, screening, and supervising them. Partner mentoring agencies are Communities in Schools, Big Brothers & Big Sisters, and Mt. Ararat Community Activity Center.
Mentors commit to visiting their assigned mentee at the mentee’s school during appointed Mentor Hours (determined by each school, but generally between the hours of 7:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday). Mentors agree to visit their mentee for 45-60 minutes per week from October 2015 to May 2016. In addition, mentors agree to maintain supervised contact (via email or visits) over the summer months for a total commitment of at least 12 months. Mentors spend weekly time reviewing and completing assignments from the Career Education Workbook. These assignments usually take 15 minutes of the meeting time. The remaining time is spent listening, interacting and being a supportive, caring adult to the student. Mentors may provide academic assistance and support when appropriate.
Participating schools include: Pittsburgh Allegheny (North Side); Pittsburgh Arsenal(Lawrenceville); Pittsburgh Brookline (Brookline); Pittsburgh Classical (West End); Pittsburgh Colfax (Squirrel Hill); Pittsburgh King (North Side); Pittsburgh Manchester (North Side) Pgh Milliones/Univ Prep (Hill District); Pgh Obama Academy for International Studies (East Liberty) Pittsburgh Schiller(North Side); Pittsburgh South Brook (Brookline); Pittsburgh South Hills (Beechview); Pittsburgh Sterrett (Point Breeze); Pittsburgh Westinghouse (Homewood); and Manchester Academic Charter School (North Side).
The Everybody Wins! program addresses critical needs in Pittsburgh communities by increasing interest in reading among elementary school students. Driven by the idea that students learn to read up to third grade, the program matches caring adults with students in a fun, relaxing atmosphere for one-on-one literacy mentoring.
Mentors commit to visiting their assigned mentee at the mentee’s school during appointed lunchtime hours (determined by each school, but generally between 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m., Monday through Friday). Mentors agree to visit their mentee for about 45 minutes per week from October 2014 to May 2015 for one-on-one reading experiences.
Participating schools include: Pittsburgh King (North Side); Pittsburgh Phillips (South Side); Pittsburgh Weil (Hill District); and Pittsburgh Faison (Homewood).
The mentor2.0 program allows flexibility for those employees who want to participate, however their work schedule does not permit them so. Mentors take 30 minutes out of their work week to communicate via email with their mentee. Once a month Mentor2.0 meetings take place on a pre-determined Wednesday from 5:00 – 7:00 p.m. at Brashear High School.
Participating school: Pittsburgh Brashear High School (Beechview)
#4: How can I participate for the 2015-2016 school season?
Steps for participation include:
Complete and submit one of the (insert new app link here for 2015-2016 applications) 2015-2016 applications to the Department of Personnel & Civil Service Commission (CSC) at the following address through interoffice, fax, or email:
Department of Personnel & CSC
414 Grant Street, Room 431
Pittsburgh, PA 15219
Fax: (412) 255-4736
Steps for participation include:
Please note that your Director or a designee must approve and sign the application for consideration in the program, and continued participation is at the City Department’s sole discretion. You are encouraged to submit your application early; however, applications will be accepted until September 1, 2015.
After you submit your application, you will participate in a brief phone call with the Be A Middle School Mentor, Everybody Wins!, or Mentor2.0 program staff. This is a great opportunity to ask any remaining questions that you may have.
August or September (and are subject to change), you will be invited to a training session that will cover mentoring best practices and specifics for your program.
You will be asked to complete an interview with the mentoring agency.
Act 33/34 and FBI clearances must be completed in order to participate in any of the three programs. Mentor2.0 will pay for clearances and Be a Middle School Mentor will reimburse for clearances. Everybody Wins! applicants must cover the costs of their clearances in exception to mentors age 55 or over – Pittsburgh Cares RSVP program will cover clearance and travel expenses.*
Weekly mentoring will begin in October 2015.
*Clearances will be reviewed by the mentoring agency and Pittsburgh Public Schools staff. Final decisions on suitability are the responsibility of the partner agency and the assigned school.
#5: If I work 2nd or 3rd shift, can I still participate?
You may still participate in the Mayor’s Mentoring Initiative. However, to receive administrative leave time the activity must fall within your normal work schedule.
#6: What if my position with the City is grant-funded?
For those employees who are not paid by general fund dollars, you should have written permission from the grantor/funder prior to participation in the program.
#7: May I use a City vehicle to drive to and from the school that I am assigned to?
City vehicle use may be permitted at your Director or designee’s discretion.
#8: Is co-mentoring allowed?
Co-mentoring (i.e., two adults serving as mentors to the same mentee on alternate weeks) is allowable for Everybody Wins!, as well as Be a Middle School Mentor at the following schools: Pittsburgh Allegheny (North Side); Pittsburgh King (North Side); and Pittsburgh Sterrett (Point Breeze). If you are interested in co-mentoring, please be sure to note this on your application. Those interested are encouraged to identify a co-mentor in their application.
#9: What if I mentored last year and want to continue mentoring?
If you mentored with the Be a Middle School Mentor (formerly Be a 6Th Grade Mentor) program during the 2013-2014 school year and you’d like to continue mentoring, we ask that you reapply to firstname.lastname@example.org using the same application form. You are not required to attend another pre-mentoring training or submit clearances again. However, you are encouraged to attend a refresher training. These trainings will be scheduled by the Be a Middle School Mentor Coordinator.
If you mentored with the Be a 6th Grade Mentor program during the 2014-2015 school year and you’d like to begin mentoring with the Everybody Wins! program instead, you will be required to attend a pre-mentoring training with Reading is Fundamental Pittsburgh.