Mentors fill an important role in the life of a young child.
A mentor can provide the unconditional
support and acceptance that will promote positive self-esteem and confidence in a child. In the
school-based setting of the Mentor St. Louis program (MSL), mentors reinforce the value of education
and a mentor’s regular visits bring an added dimension to a child’s school experience.
MSL empowers St. Louis elementary school students to succeed in school through
structured, positive mentoring relationships with caring adult volunteers. Every year, more
than 500 youth in first through sixth grade are encouraged to develop a love of learning and
ultimately reach their highest potential through literacy-based programming and supportive one-
In fall of 2009, BGCSTL affiliated with Mentor St. Louis in a move the St. Louis Business Journal
described as “a great lesson to model for our region.” MSL’s programming is unique in that it reaches out to at risk children as early as first grade in
order to enhance literacy and encourage self-esteem as early as possible. All of the mentoring
sessions are thematically connected and thoughtfully linked to the child’s own school work.
Themes of family, community, career, heritage, financial responsibility, goals and diversity are
Mentor St. Louis’ core program for each individual mentor is a structured monthly mentoring
session that lasts for an hour and uses MSL’s “Relationships Through Literacy” curriculum. This
set of lessons is thematically connected throughout the school year and provides grade leveled
reading assistance as well as Missouri Assessment Program (MAP) prep lessons for each
student. Grade-by-grade curriculum guides are provided to help mentors plan their sessions,
along with helpful guides for dealing with learning styles, creating boundaries and learning about
the academic, social, and behavioral development of children at each grade level.
During monthly mentoring sessions, students work in small groups on literacy projects designed to enhance reading skills, trigger discussions and creative thinking, build students’ confidence
and self-esteem, and strengthen mentor-mentee relationships. Between sessions, mentors
make weekly contact via letters, e-mails, phone calls, and in-school classroom visits.
Mentor St. Louis currently serves kids at Cote Brilliante, Paul Laurence Dunbar, Farragut,
Jefferson, and Sherman Elementary Schools, all of which are St. Louis Public Schools. MSL
provides a unique resource to ensure that at this critical stage
of academic development, students are encouraged to develop a love and appreciation for
learning.The site-based model allows Mentor St. Louis to monitor and support the growth of
each mentoring relationship, making certain that a successful relationship is achieved by all.
We are always looking for mentors! Please complete the MSL Application and return to Ryonnel Jackson at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information about this program or to become a Mentor contact Ryonnel Jackson at 314-335-8140 or email@example.com or Lindsey Nienhuis at 314-335-8141 or firstname.lastname@example.org.