Highlighting the Many Tt Relationships that are Making a Difference in our Community
Milena and London bring joy to the mentoring office every Tuesday morning when they meet to chat, play games and craft together. They both get a fantastic start to their day. They have been together for a year and half now, and it has been a pleasure to watch their relationship grow with time. Thanks for being part of the Twinfield Together Mentoring family Milena and London.
January s National Mentoring Month - and we have lots of relationships to celebrate at Twinfield Together! We started this photo wall, and our pictures keep growing, just like our programming. We started out as a traditional community based program in 2009 with 8 adult volunteers.
Our adult volunteers are still the backbone of our program in so may ways. A HUGE thank you to the 35 adult volunteers for sharing their time, experience, hobbies, connections, and kindness with our youth. Another shout out to our 40 high school students for being mentors and leaders to our younger youth. Lastly, thanks to our middle school teaching team and 60 middle school students for their weekly commitment to make their community a better place. Relationships, connections, and engagement are key components to a healthy community, and we are lucky to be in a community where youth can thrive!
January is National Mentoring Month. A time to thank our current volunteers and youth for their participation, and encourage new participation. As discussed in our most recent interview on Vermont Viewpoint with Kevin Ellis, mentoring is more than just a program for youth. Everyone in a community benefits when youth are engaged and thriving. Another important aspect of Twinfield Together is building relationships with the local business community, and finding ways promote our programming. This month, these four local businesses will help us celebrate and promote mentoring in our community by hosting drop in events with food and beverages. We hope you can come to one of these events to meet mentors, supporters, program staff, board members, and neighbors. You can see the details about the different events on the flyer at our Recent News Page.
This week in Relationships Matter we are highlighting the impact of peer relationships. This week our mentoring pairs painted sugar cookies together, but we didn't want kids without a mentor to feel left out - so we painted enough cookies to share with the whole elementary school. It was fun to paint the cookies, but wrapping them up for each grade was just as rewarding. We want everyone to feel connected at school, and we hope everyone enjoys the special treat delivered to their classroom for the last day of school before Winter break. We look forward to seeing everyone in the new year!
This week in Relationships Matter we are highlighting Audrey and Alice. Alice became Audreys reading buddy when Alice was in 8th grade and Audrey was in Kindergarten. When Alice became a Freshman in high school she applied to become a peer mentor, and requested Audrey because they really hit it off. Alice was also inspired to become a mentor, because she also was a mentee. Her mentor Glenda became her reading buddy when Alice was in 2nd grade (Alice and Glenda are also still connected). Now in her senior year, Alice looks forward to her time with Audrey. As a fourth grader, Audrey looks forward to their weekly time with Alice, and says they can not wait until they are old enough to become a mentor themselves! Alice and Audrey's relationships highlights the strong culture of mentoring that TtMP embodies, and we are so thankful to Glenda, Alice and Audrey for being part of our Tt Mentoring Family!
This week in Relationships Matter we are highlighting Matt and Dave. Although Dave has been a mentor with Twinfield Together since 2012, he was matched with Matt in January of 2020, when Matt was in 1st grade. They only had a few months of reading together in our Everybody Wins! reading mentoring program when schools were closed in March for the rest of the year. The following year, schools were not allowing visitors into the building because of Covid restrictions. Matt and Dave wanted to stay connected, so Dave started coming to school each week with his dogs for a walk in the woods. Matt is now in 5th grade, and Dave is still coming to school with his dogs for their weekly walk. Sometimes they come indoors to read a book in the warmth of the library for old times sake, but mostly they meet in the woods and have a running bet of who is going to fall first. Thanks to Dave and Matt for being part of our mentoring community, and for showing us a new way for mentoring pairs to connect at school each week. #RelationshipsMatter
In October we were fortunate to get an increase in funding from Mentor Vermont, and we hired Paula as a part time program assistant. As I have been getting Paula acquainted with Twinfield Together, it gave me an opportunity to share all the different ways we are connecting people in our community. It made me reflect on programming, and helped me to realize just how many different relationships we are supporting, and how important these relationships are to our community, our school, and our youth. I found myself explaining to Paula that 'Twinfield Together was all about relationships because relationships matter.'
It gave us the idea that we should share all these relationships with the whole community, so we decided to change this mentoring mindset blog into a "relationships matter" blog. And so that's what we'll do. Paula and I will be sharing all the amazing relationships we see happening around us. We hope you enjoy reading about them as much as we enjoy having them as part of the Twinfield Together Mentoring Community!
April is National Volunteer Month - a perfect time to highlight why people become mentors. There are so many reasons to become mentor, what are you waiting for? Get connected to a young person for a shared sense of fun, a sense of purpose, to give back, to stay young, to try something new, to make a difference.....apply online today!
The new year is a typical time for looking back and looking forward. As we move into 2023, I was struck by the New York Times' article, "The 7-Day Happiness Challenge," by Jancee Dunn. The article explores the 85 year long Harvard study of adult development, sited as "the longest-running in-depth study on human happiness in the world." For me, who gets to see the importance or relationships every day, I was not surprised to read, "From all the data, one very clear finding has emerged: Strong relationships are what make for a happy life. More than wealth, I.Q. or social class, it’s the robustness of our bonds that most determines whether we feel fulfilled."
Thanks to all the mentors, mentees, families and donors that are helping TtMP support so many relationships in our community - not only do these relationships make us happier as individuals, these relationships also strengthen the connections within our community!
Here's to a 2023 filled with more connections and fulfillment!
In reading Mentor National's resource, "Becoming a Better Mentor," we were reminded of the importance that mentoring relationships are a give and take partnership. In the chapter 8, Honoring Youth Voice and Building Power, they conclude by saying, "Mentoring works when adults teach young people things, be it new skills or viewpoints, they didn’t know before. At the same time, all youth also have the potential to teach adults things they didn’t know before. If this is happening in an authentic way, your mentoring relationship will be successful."
This month, let's remember to be there for young people by having fun together, and being open to learning something from a young person!