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Mentoring Program Teaches Stamford Students Civic Engagement

SPEF students get involved in service learning at the Food Bank of Lower Fairfield County April 12.
SPEF students get involved in service learning at the Food Bank of Lower Fairfield County April 12. Photo Credit: Courtesy of Stamford Public Education Foundation

STAMFORD, Conn. – As the end of the school year approaches, the Stamford Public Education Foundation’s Stamford Mentoring Program, which began in January, begins their culminating projects that teach civic engagement and leadership at four Stamford elementary schools.

On Tuesday, April 12, 20 11th- and 12th-grade mentors from Stamford High School worked with 39 fifth-graders from Julia A. Stark Elementary School on their culminating project. During their visit to the Food Bank of Lower Fairfield County, students learned about the importance of food banks for the community and helped the organization receive food donations.

On Thursday, April 14, 39 11th- and 12th-grade mentors from Westhill High School worked with 64 third-graders from Roxbury Elementary School on their culminating project focused on building character strength. Students and mentors decorated place mats that were distributed to program recipients from Catholic Charities’ Senior Nutrition Program. Director of the Senior Nutrition Program Maureen Neuberger attended the mentoring session with a nutritionist from the Senior Nutrition Program to explain the impact of their work and making healthy choices.

Twenty-seven UConn-Stamford students from Monica Miller-Smith’s low-income families and family-school partnership courses worked Monday with 102 third-graders from Hart Magnet Elementary School on their project focused on the environment. SPEF partnered with Uconn-Stamford and Mill River Collaborative for a park cleanup at Mill River Park to celebrate Earth Day.

On Thursday, 42 ninth- and 10th-grade mentors from JM Wright Technical School’s Health Technology and Building Maintenance Departments will work with 39 third-graders from Davenport Ridge Elementary School on their project, focused on civic engagement for Edgehill Senior Living Facility residents.

The Stamford Mentoring Program’s service-learning component is offered to third- and fifth-grade students at select elementary schools. While the Stamford Mentoring Program will serve more than 700 students from grades 3-12, the service-learning component will reach 350 elementary school students by year’s end. During weekly mentoring sessions, mentors and mentees discuss topics related to service-learning, such as civic engagement, community service and leadership.

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