In the past, mentoring relationships developed spontaneously when adults and children in small communities or neighborhoods interact on a daily basis. As the pace of life in the United States quickens, these informal relationships between adults and children are becoming scarce. Many families are geographically and emotionally separated from relatives. Families face various social, cultural and economic obstacles to raising their children.
Across the country, mentoring programs are replicating these once spontaneous relationships by bringing together caring adults in the community with children in need of positive adult role models. Mentoring has been connected to many positive behaviors including increased self-esteem, improved academic skills and school attendance, a heightened sense of citizenship, and increased self-confidence.
The University of South Dakota Head Start Pre-Birth Through Five started its mentoring program in September of 2005. The mentors go through a background check and training session and then once a week for an hour, mentors meet with their student at the Head Start sites at a convenient time.
Mentors and students enjoy a variety of activities together, such as working on the computer, reading books, playing games, or simply eating together and talking. The goal of The University of South Dakota Pre-Birth Through Five Head Start Program is to provide assistance, role-modeling, and a positive interaction between adult and student that will lead to school and lifetime success.
Betas involved in The University of South Dakota Pre-Birth Through Five Head Start Mentor Program are Andrew Lauck, Mike Jenness, Tyler Barondeau, Mathew Mortenson, Christopher Barondeau, and Josh Villbrandt.
These men were in charge of getting the children involved in different physical activities. Some of the activities were volleyball, hop scotch, basketball, soccer, and jump roping, walking on a balance beam and having fun with parachute. The Sigma Nus have helped with cleaning up play grounds, help moving heavy desks and the mentoring program. Sigma Nus involved are Tim Ryan, Levi Zilverberg, Brett Riggs, Colin Zilverberg, Pat Barnett, Nate Johnson, John Mohrhauser, Jason Schroeder, Andrew Willuweit, Matt Kallsen, Kris Schroeder, Nathan Hurley, Brady Lane, and Justin Clem.
All of these men have made a huge impact in several children's lives, and our community will benefit from them giving their time.