In honor of National Mentoring Month, the Round Rock ISD mentor program was recognized with a proclamation by the City of Round Rock Mayor, Alan McGraw, during the Jan. 12 City Council meeting. National Mentoring Month is a campaign held each January to promote youth mentoring.

District representatives in attendance to accept the honor were Trustees Charles “Chad” Chadwell and Paul J. Tisch, Senior Chief of Schools and Innovation Dr. Daniel Presley, RRISD PIE Foundation Executive Director Marianne Reap, Partners in Education (PIE) Foundation Board Member Hollis Bone and Mentor Coordinator Dawn Steele.

“Youth mentoring is recognized as a powerful youth development strategy,” Mayor Alan McGraw said. “I encourage Round Rock citizens to commend our committed mentors and consider making a difference themselves by signing up to mentor a student.”

The District’s Supporting, Teaching and Reaching Students (STARS ) mentoring program has 278 mentors who serve students on all 54 Round Rock ISD campuses. Joint funding for the program is provided by a grant awarded by United Way of Williamson County, Round Rock ISD and the Round Rock ISD PIE Foundation.

“There are no words to describe how being a mentor impacts your life and the life of the mentee,” said Steele. “Through the school year a mentor commits about 24 hours, that’s all it takes to make a difference in a child’s life.”

National Mentoring Month launched in 2002, originated by the National Mentoring Partnership (MENTOR) and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. The month-long campaign focuses national attention on the need for mentors, as well as how each of us—individuals, businesses, government agencies, schools, faith communities and nonprofits—can work together to increase the number of mentors to help ensure positive outcomes for our young people.

Mentors are provided training and matched with a student mentee. Matches are determined by interests and location. This year the program has a goal to increase the number of participating mentors for students to 450. Specifically, more male mentors are needed.