Kids Mentoring Kids

Readers know how fun it is to open up a book and be taken into a story far away – you never know where you will end up when you open up a book and start turning the pages. But not every student has discovered the “Junior Optimist International of Reading.” Who better to show them this whole new world in books than other kids! Children look up to older students and trust them to know what is fun, interesting and cool! If Junior Optimist International Members show how fun reading can be, they will pass the “Junior Optimist International of Reading” along to other kids.

That means it's time for Kids Mentoring Kids!

How to get started
In order for Kids Mentoring Kids to be successful, you will need a dedicated group of Junior Optimist International volunteers to work as mentors. Form a committee of interested Junior Optimist International Members and potential mentors.

Choose some possible locations for the project. The Junior Optimist International Adviser will need to work with school principals and administrators or community center representatives to get the project started.

After a location has been selected, start working with the representatives at the school or community center where the mentoring will take place. Decide on the frequency of visits, the number of children involved and types of reading activities.

Establish a schedule and procedures for visits, including attendance, mentoring assignments and what books should be covered. Distribute the schedule to everyone involved.

Mentors should set aside regular days and times to keep the project consistent. A minimum of 30 minutes per mentoring session twice a month is recommended.

Send Kids Mentoring Kids success stories to Junior Optimist International – Junior Optimist International wants to hear all about it!

What Kids Mentoring Kids Should Accomplish
Junior Optimist International wants all children to share in the Junior Optimist International of Reading! Here are some other areas where mentors should see improvement when they start mentoring younger kids:

  • Recognizing and naming the letters of the alphabet

  • Connecting sounds to letters to establish basic reading skills

  • Recognizing words more easily

  • Learning and using new words

  • Understanding what is read

  • Listening and responding to stories read aloud
Publicize Your Mentoring Activities!
Junior Optimist International has developed a series of news releases that Junior Optimist International Clubs can use in connection with their participation in the Junior Optimist International of Reading program. Below is a sample news release that Clubs can use to promote their mentoring activities. Please note that the .doc version enables Clubs to type their information into fields*, while the .pdf files are for viewing only.

Kids Mentoring Kids (.doc)
Kids Mentoring Kids (.pdf)
*If your Junior Optimist International Club wishes to use its own letterhead, you can remove the Junior Optimist International logo in the document by opening up the Word document, going to "View," then "Toolbars" and selecting "Forms." When the "Forms" toolbar appears, click on the padlock, then click on the Junior Optimist International logo and delete it. For those using Microsoft Office 2007, click on the Microsoft Office button in the upper left corner, go to "Word options" and then select the box next to "Show the Developer tab in the Ribbon" and click "OK." Above the document, click the "Developer" tab and then click on the "Protect Document" drop-down menu. Click on "Restrict Formatting and Editing." At the bottom of the new window to the right, click the "Stop Protection" button.