Every child who needs a mentor
                           should have a mentor.

September is Attendance Awareness Month

Reducing absenteeism is a simple, cost-effective, but often overlooked strategy for improving academic performance. Starting as early as preschool and kindergarten,
chronic absence-missing 10 percent of the academic year-can leave third graders unable to read proficiently, sixth graders struggling with coursework and high school students off track for graduation. 

We also know that mentoring plays an important role in improving attendance. Research shows that:
  • Students who meet regularly with their mentors are 52% less likely than their peers to skip a day of school.
  • Students who meet regularly with their mentors are 37% less likely than their peers to skip a class.
  • Students at-risk for not graduating were 36% more likely to aspire to enroll in and graduate from college if they had a mentor.
Check out the toolkit for more strategies and ways to get involved.

New Elements of Effective Practice for Mentoring™ Released for Programs

MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership (MENTOR) is pleased to announce The Elements of Effective Practice for Mentoring™, Fourth Edition is now available for download. MENTOR's cornerstone publication, the Elements of Effective Practice for Mentoring, details research-informed and practitioner-approved standards for creating and sustaining quality youth mentoring programs and consequently, impactful mentoring relationships. The Fourth Edition, released in September 2015, reflects the most up-to-date research, practice, and thinking in the mentoring field. 

Click here to check out the newly released Elements of Effective Practice for Mentoring™, as well as additional tools, templates, and advice for building or maintaining a quality mentoring program.  

Apply for Free Technical Assistance

Are you looking to enhance your mentoring program practices? VMP provides customized consultation to assess and strengthen four key program areas: design, operations, management, and evaluation.  VMP serves as the technical assistance provider for the region. This resource is provided by OJJDP and managed by MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership. To receive these services, click here to fill out a request.

Questions? Email Director of Programs Rose Marie Wiegandt.

Link to Learning
Research indicates that mentoring relationships have a positive impact on not only young people but also volunteers. Check out this article promoting the benefits of volunteering and charitable giving.

See more research from the Chronicle of Evidence-Based Mentoring.
Amazing Raise Support Exceeds $12,000

On behalf of VMP's staff and board, we want to extend a sincere thank you to our supporters during the Amazing Raise. By the close of 36 hours, we collected $8,675 in gifts and secured $3,500 in grant prizes. 

Your support allows us to continue to provide the training, one-on-one consultation, and quality assurance necessary to educate, strengthen, and build capacity for mentoring programs and volunteers state-wide. Your donation will help ensure that more children in Richmond and throughout Virginia have access to high quality, sustainable mentoring relationships. 

Thank you again to our Amazing Raise donors for their generous support of these efforts. Miss the Amazing Raise, but still want to support VMP's work? Click here to donate to VMP's 2015 Annual Fund. 

Upcoming Trainings:
Make sure your program's mentors feel well informed and prepared for any challengesSee our upcoming training schedule here. To request an on-site training for mentors, click here.

Cultural Competency Training:
October 8th, 9am-1pm

In today's global society, to be most effective, professionals and service providers must be able to recognize various elements and aspects of culture, and how these impact individuals and groups. This interactive workshop, led by Steve Hixon, engages participants in learning how to integrate cultural knowledge, skills, and abilities into work practice, towards becoming more culturally competent and enhancing the overall quality of services provided.
Participants will learn to:
  • Understand and define cultural competency
  • Identify various elements and aspects of culture and impacts on individuals and groups
  • Identify various non-ethnic/racial cultural groups
  • Explore how to integrate cultural competency into everyday practice

Trauma Informed Care and the Impact on Mentoring and Youth Development Relationships
October 22nd, choice of two sessions: 8:30-11:30am, and 4-7pm

Youth coping with traumatic incidents face specific challenges that may manifest in a variety of behaviors. This training session, facilitated by Stephanie LaCroix, LCSW and Daniel LaCroix, LCSW, examines the complex issues of:
  • The impacts of trauma on brain functioning in children and adolescents
  • How trauma may manifest in behaviors, and how to recognize a possible traumatized child; 
  • How a child with a trauma history might present during time together with a mentor
  • How to respond to these behaviors and how to assist the child/family in getting additional assistance
  • Self care for the mentor.
Participants will improve their awareness about the prevalence and impact of trauma on individuals, families, and communities. They will also become familiar with the skills required to work with traumatized children and communities and how to recognize when additional supports are necessary. The session will also discuss how these issues affect staff and volunteers, and how to maintain balance. 

Program Spotlight: ART180

Every month, VMP will recognize the work and accomplishments of an outstanding program. Want us to feature your program's work? Let us know!

ART 180's mentoring program furthers the organization's mission of "giving young people the chance to express themselves through art and to share their stories with other people" by providing additional one-on-one support for teens in its Teen Leadership Council. This support provides additional opportunities for personal and community growth. The council is made up of a very special group of 16 ART 180 participants who  demonstrate exceptional commitment, responsibility and creativity. The mentors commit to supporting the youth 4 hours a month for one year. 

Taekia Glass, Program Director, reflects, "One of the biggest joys for me is running into our mentor/mentee pairs around town, in various neighborhoods, restaurants, and events. I've spotted a few taking a leisurely stroll through Churchill, at the VMFA, or stopping by Atlas our teen center in Jackson Ward to explore the latest exhibition together. This month I'm looking forward to meeting new mentor prospects to help round out our program and get this year of mentoring started."

Get involved! To learn more about ART 180, click here.

Mentoring Connector Puts Your Program on the Map

Each month, VMP receives dozens of phone calls from community members in Virginia who want to find nearby mentoring opportunities for both mentors and youth seeking mentors. MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership has designed a free database called Mentoring Connector. Registering your program in Mentoring Connector increases your program's visibility and allows potential mentors and mentees in the area to find your program. VMP's referral process will rely on the Mentoring Connector database. If your program wishes to continue to receive referrals from VMP,  register with Mentoring Connector today!

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Virginia Mentoring Partnership
2500 W. Broad St, Third Floor
Richmond, VA 23220
Virginia Mentoring Partnership is a 501 (c) 3 organization that is supported by grants, corporate donations, individual donations and in-kind services.  For more information or to support our organization please visit us at