Monday, October 21, 2013

Bullying Prevention

Borrowed from the Oklahoma State Department of Education's website are the following tools and resources for National Bullying Prevention Month, October 2013.

55 percent of bullying situations will stop when a peer intervenes.

Check out this daily tip calendar for students to stop bullying.

The tips work all year!

To read more on bullying prevention:

Ret. 10-10-13

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Call for Middle School and High School Mentoring: State Law

This is a useful guideline for middle school and high school mentoring programs. 

Building the relationship first is helpful before proceeding with the suggestions below.  

Section 244.1.1 Mentorship Programs to Reduce Drop-out Rates. (70 O.S. § 1210-527)   

A. The State Department of Education shall encourage school boards and districts to develop mentorship programs aimed at reducing drop-out rates. The goal of these programs shall be to identify middle school and high school students who are at risk for leaving school before they obtain their high school diploma and providing these students with comprehensive prevention and intervention programs.

B. Mentors should work with identified students to assist in the following:

1. Transitioning from middle school to high school;

2. Creation of personal graduation plans;

3. Counseling of students on the consequences of dropping out;

4. Beginning career exploration with students at an earlier age;

5. Informing parents and students regarding the impact of middle school grades on high school placement and achievement;

6. Providing students with guidance in selecting courses; and

7. Providing students with tutoring and extra academic assistance as needed.

Ret. 10-11-13

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

The Drop Out Crisis

Another excerpt from SNAPSHOT: Youth Mentoring Research and Outcomes

The Dropout Crisis
Nationwide, nearly onethird of high school students fail to graduate. In total, approximately 1.3

million students drop out each year — averaging 7,200 every school day. Among minority students,

the problem is even more severe with almost 50 percent of African-American and Hispanic students

not completing high school on schedule.  

Experts say that dropping out of high school affects not just students and their families, but also the

country overall — including businesses, government and communities. The Alliance for Excellent

Education estimates that high school dropouts from the class of 2006-07 will cost the U.S. more
than $329 billion in lost wages, taxes and productivity over their lifetimes.  Experts also say that

those who drop out are more likely to be incarcerated, rely on public programs and social services

and go without health insurance than youth who graduate from high school.
In summary, high school dropouts are:
  • Less likely to have a job or earn less, on average, than high school graduates;

  • Less likely to have health insurance than those with more education and more likely to depend on Medicaid or Medicare for their coverage;

  • More likely to depend on public assistance; and

  • More likely to be incarcerated. 2

2 Social and Fiscal Consequences of the Dropout Crisis. (Updated, 2009). Center for Labor Market Studies, Northeastern University.

Excerpt from:  

Ret. 10-11-13

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Return on Mentoring Investment

SNAPSHOT: Youth Mentoring Research and Outcomes

Mentoring is a youth development strategy that is a proven foundational asset for a young person’s

successful path to adulthood. It is also effectively used as an intervention strategy to redirect a
young person’s life toward a healthy and productive future. In both cases, the results save taxpayer
dollars and fuel the economy. In fact, recent research demonstrates that

for every dollar invested in effective

mentoring programs, there is a return of $2.72.

This positive return on investment reflects projected increases in lifetime earnings gained by 

leading atrisk youth down the path to becoming productive adult citizens, as well as dollars saved 

through evidencebased mentoringrelated outcomes, such as reduced juvenile delinquency and 

crime, improved school attendance, higher graduation rates, and lowered risk of youth involvement 

in costly behaviors such as drug, alcohol and tobacco use.

In addition, effective mentoring programs also report significant increases among youth served in

self-confidence, self-efficacy and a positive attitude about their futures. 1


Anton, P.,Wilder Research & Temple, Judy, Univ. of Minnesota, “Social Return on Investment in Youth Mentoring Programs,” March 2007

An excerpt from

Monday, October 14, 2013

Business/Civic Leaders Value Mentoring

We are always proud of the many community contributions of our corporations, especially those which either have their own mentoring programs or allow employees to participate in other mentoring programs during the work day. 

Some examples in Oklahoma City include Chesapeake Energy, Devon Energy, SandRidge Energy, SONIC Corporation, INTEGRIS Health, Mercy Hospital, American Fidelity and Walmart.  Chesapeake's wide range includes elementary, middle and high school programs.  AT&T's ASPIRE Program also targets high school-age youths.  Building a relationship with youth is much more effective in the long-term than making a monetary donation, although donations to community organizations are always needed.  Many of these corporations are reaching out to youth in diverse relational ways.

Recently, we discovered that Rotary International, one of the world's major civic organizations, primarily composed of business leaders, has its own mentoring program.  Here is a link to the international website and also a screen shot of the San Antonio Rotary Club's website posting of the program. 

Rotarians can participate in existing mentoring programs within their own communities for all students--elementary through high school and postsecondary--if they do not want to sponsor their own initiatives. 

It's all about shaping the future, isn't it?   International Rotary  Rotary Club of San Antonio

Screen shot of the Rotary webpage

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Learning How to Handle Money

Khan Academy has free, online classes in a variety of areas for everyone of all ages and circumstances.  We can all improve and/or teach others. 

This is the latest project of Khan Academy and Bank of America to develop financial literacy.  (More on the Khan Academy in a subsequent post.)
 Below are a few screen shots to entice you to take a "course." 

Monday, October 7, 2013

Mentor Recruitment Strategies

First, we must praise Oklahoma Career Tech and Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education for the excellence in their educational institutions.  In the real world, Oklahomans are able to reach out to a local career tech, college or university for student and faculty expertise not only in PR, as here, but also through senior or graduate students who are accomplished in their fields.
Next, we must thank Melynda Stone for sharing this plan with us. Tyler and Brad at Claremore’s Northeast Technology Center contributed creative ideas for recruiting mentors.

We can adapt this strategy in our own communities.

Marketing Objective: 
recruit additional volunteer mentors

Target audiences:

1)  Men

2)  African Americans

3)  Young Adults

4)  RSU Students in need of community service hours/RSU athletes

5)  Business professionals

6)  Women

7)  Retired Folks

8)  Hispanics

9)  Church Members

10) Veterans

11) Fire Fighters and law enforcement officers

Action Plan:

1)  Take advantage of all opportunities to have a presence at community events, hand out information and take names/contact info from interested adults. 

    a)  Upcoming parades

    b)  Any festivals/events where booths/tables are available - ex:  Trunk or Treat

    c)  Area football games (PA announcements & windshield fliers)

2)  Get information into the hands of the general population

    a)  Develop a small hand out for drive through customers at restaurants & banks

    b)  Place these handouts in waiting areas at medical offices

    c)  Write and submit article(s) to area newspapers

    d)  Frequent Facebook posts

3)  Target RSU [college and/or career tech] students

    a)  Hillcat Post article(s)

    b)  Posters at the library, campus housing, and student gathering areas

    c)  Posts to RSU groups' Facebook pages

    d)  An outreach to Rogers State University (RSU) coaches for their athletes to


    e)  Develop and run an RSU Radio public service announcement

4)  Develop a "Wanted" poster campaign (Some will rotate). Placement of posters at:

     a)  Bank lobby possibilities
          1.  RCB Main

          2.  RCB FC

          3.  RCB Inola

          4.  RCB Catoosa

          5.  BancFirst Main

          6.  BancFirst Ne-Mar

          7.  BancFirst Blue Starr

          8.  IBC

          9.  TTCU

         10.  Bank of Commerce Sequoyah

         11.  Grand Bank

         12.  Chelsea's Bank

         13.  Bank of the Lakes Catoosa

         14.  Bank of the Lakes Oologah

         15.  Bank of America Catoosa

         16.  Bank of Oklahoma Catoosa

         17.  Bank of Chelsea

     b)  Larger business break areas (to reach employees) Possibilities:

         1.  Baker Hughes-Centrilift

         2.  AXH

         3.  Tarby

     c)  Larger business lobbies (to reach general public visiting the business or building)

         1.  Claremore Hillcrest Hospital

         2.  Rogers County Court House

     d) Restaurants

         1.  Chilis

         2.  Asianna

         3.  Carl's Coney Island

         4.  Eggberts

         5.  Hammett House

         6.  Napolis

         7.  Mazzios

         8.  Pizza Hut

         9.  Rib Crib

        10.  Pink House

Melynda’s addition to her team:  Would there be any way to develop a "Sticky Note" type product that could be on or near each poster. An interested person would be able to peel one off that has our phone number and web address if they were interested and wanted to follow up?  If so, these could also be handouts at booths, windshields, etc.  RCB, which has its own in-house printing, made some to promote their online banking ap, and they are noticeable at every teller station.

5)  Although the campaign can continue indefinitely, the culmination should be during January Mentoring Month.  We could make our existing monthly event the focus (January 18th) and promote it heavily to all our existing mentors (mail a postcard invitation as well as our usual email reminders), invite the Mayor to proclaim "Mentoring Day" in Claremore, and figure out some ways to invite people from the general public who are thinking about volunteering.  This event could be photographed and publicized afterwards as an additional way to get the message out that more mentors are needed.  The theme for 2013 Mentoring Month is "Mentoring Works!"

We might add that MENTOR is keeping the Mentoring Works! as a standard logo.

Melynda, who contributed mentoring photos representative of some of the targets mentioned in the above campaign, has education and experience in public relations and business.

Shared by Melynda Stone, Executive Director, Volunteers for Youth...
...because they're worth it!
Email 10-4-12

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Mentoring for College and Career Success

Photo from K-20 GEAR UP for Success page

So many practical yet energizing mentoring strategies are helping middle school and high school youths see and plan for college and careers.  For example, Stacy Harris, mentoring coordinator for GEAR UP for the PROMISE, K-20 Center, shared recently that her program aimed at Oklahoma City middle school youths is branching out with a forensic science activity. Development is being considered for banking/finance and medical components.  The GEAR UP mentors, primarily STEM professionals from Oklahoma City metro businesses, are having fun and sharing their passions and life/career paths.  Middle schoolers expand their vision and skills, and both students and parents are learning about future probabilities.  Below is a still applicable column about mentoring and future success.  Older students need mentoring, too!

"Mentoring for teens keeps doors open to college success"
Mentoring benefits students, but also mentors and communities.
Research indicates that college graduates experience better health, higher lifetime earnings and decreased chance of unemployment, more job satisfaction and increased educational attainment for their children.
While there are significant benefits to education after high school, students need motivation and support to develop a vision and complete the steps for their futures that includes graduation from high school and post-high school education. Every year thousands of Oklahoma students embark on a journey to higher education; students need more and more information and guidance to be successful.

Youths attribute much of their motivation for a college degree to their family members' encouragement beginning when they were young. Yet, by middle school, they acknowledge a reliance on mentors from the larger community to provide informed guidance and support to aid them in pursuing their visions for the future fostered by their families.

There are many different ways mentors can become involved with youths. When thinking of mentoring, most people think of traditional or one-on-one mentoring which matches one adult with one youth. Meeting regularly over an extended period of time, whether in person or online via supervised chat and email, the pair may discuss a range of issues including academics, careers, interests and concerns.

Mentoring, however, occurs across an array of other formats. Group mentoring, for example, matches one adult with a group of two to four youths. Another form of mentoring is team mentoring that matches two to three adults with a group of youths in a maximum ratio of one adult to four youths. Both group mentoring formats feature a curriculum for sessions to help young people make good decisions, set goals, investigate careers and build a personal relationship with a caring adult who is a positive role model.

Youths who participate in structured mentoring relationships experience a number of positive benefits, according to the Child Trends research brief “Mentoring: A Promising Strategy for Youth Development.” In terms of health and safety, mentoring appears to help prevent substance abuse and reduce some negative youth behaviors.

Socially and emotionally, mentoring programs promote positive attitudes and relationships. Mentored youths tend to communicate better with their parents and experience a higher degree of trust with them. In addition, mentored youths exhibit a better attitude toward and attendance at school. Engaging in relationships with caring adult role models increases students' chances of successfully completing their education.

Benefits are not limited to youths. Adult mentors and communities also indicate positive outcomes of mentoring. In general, communities see decreases in substance abuse, teen pregnancy, school dropout and juvenile crime. Mentors report feelings of increased self-esteem, self-confidence, leadership skills and affirmation of professional competence. In addition, mentors expand their own personal and professional networks, model positive volunteerism and share their own love of learning.

Good mentors are invaluable assets. In a survey of 5,000 high school students conducted by the nonprofit What Kids Can Do (WKCD) organization, youths were clear about the challenges they faced gathering support to be successful and continue their education beyond high school. While school counselors and teachers provide information and support, students identified they need other caring adults to provide the individual attention needed to help meet the challenges they face.

Challenges may include being the first in the family to attend college or living up to expectations of the family for college graduation.

Leslie Williams is director of the K20 Center at the University of Oklahoma. This column is offered by the K20 Center Gear Up for SUCCESS and PROMISE programs. For more information about the programs, go to For more about college preparation, go to or call 225-9239

Published: December 23, 2012   Ret. 10-1-13

See what the K-20 Center is doing for Oklahoma!