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Now in its second year, the Dwight Hall Academic Mentoring Program at Yale is a 3-year initiative that pairs 15 Yale University undergraduate mentors with 30 middle-school students from Wexler-Grant Elementary School. The unique programmatic aspect is that mentoring relationships will be sustained for the duration of the initiative. The program identifies youth who have struggled at the start of middle school and employs the Jones-Zimmermann triangular mentoring model to foster an academic-centered relationship between the mentee, mentor, and a peer student. Thus, healthy social development is a goal of the program even as the integrated curriculum focuses on language literacy and mathematical skill improvement.
  • The Dwight Hall Academic Mentoring Program at Yale is supported by the Marie and John Zimmermann Fund.

  • 10/13/06

    Dear Academic Mentors:

    Thank you so much for all your wonderful work! Recently, you've received an onslaught of emails that were either directly from me or issued on my behalf from various survey programs.

    I thought it might be useful to consolidate those messages in this space.

    1) Meeting with Dr. Ann Levett

    We are working on developing a regularly bi-weekly meeting time with Ann Levett, who many of you met last year during some semi-regular meetings. Ann greatly enjoyed hearing about your experiences and has a wealth of knowledge that she can provide to support your work.

    2) Who are your mentees?

    While we will re-introduce ourselves to Ann (and each other!), the real purpose of our first meeting will be to determine what we know about our mentees. This will help guide our approach and define our major goals for the year. To make this meeting useful, we need you to complete a survey that can be found here:

    Click here to take survey

    Claudia Merson, Dwight Hall's Education Advisor, will be guiding us in this conversation and introducing us to a tool that we can implement at the school to capture characteristics about our mentees and learn about their perceived talents, strengths, challenges, interests, desires, and attributes.

    We will meet:

    Monday, 10/16 from 4:30 to 6:00 in the Dwight Hall Library
    Wednesday, 10/18 from 4:30 to 6:00 at Wexler-Grant
    You must attend one of these sessions!

    3) Paul's Project

    Paul sent out the following email to the group recently:
    "I just wanted to remind you guys to try to talk in a real light, conversational way with your kids about how they feel about their neighborhoods or school, if you get the chance. Then, if you can sometime, let me know how those conversations go, and what issues come up as things they feel are problems and would like to see changed. Thanks a lot, Paul"

    Email your thoughts to paul·dean@yale·edu· We willalso make some space for a conversation about this during the meeting(s) next week.

    4) America Learns Surveys

    Please continue to complete these surveys. We are seeing some amazing observations and progress from many of you and the surveys are much more than a timesheet. Complete the survey after your last session of the week. You can also get some useful strategies from programs across the country by going to the America Learns website. Login with your email address. Your password is simply your first name.

    5) Math Resources

    Many of you mention in your reports that additional math resources would be useful to you. We do have several copies of "Math to Know" workbooks for the kids and teacher manuals. Ask Mrs. Willis to help you locate them. We will be looking at additional resources/materials and set up a training in the near future on math education.

    6) Help needed for a workshop on mentoring

    One of our member groups at Dwight Hall, the Yale Korean American Mentoring Program works with middle school Korean students in mentoring relationships. I often do a training for them towards the beginning of the year, but will be away at a conference this weekend. It's a pretty simple affair and if you remember Dr. Ann Levett's basic message - Modeling, Modeling, Modeling - is what most of mentoring boils down to.

    I'm copying Flora's request below. She's looking for someone (or a few people) on Saturday from 12:30 for anywhere between 45 minutes and 1.5 hours. You all are capable of doing this and I even have some materials that I can provide you.

    Let me ( know if you are able to help and we can chat briefly with Flora.

    From: "Flora Min-Jeong Go"
    To: "'Johnny Scafidi'"
    Subject: RE: Please come to YKAMP meeting on Oct 14, 12 PM!

    Dear Johnny,

    We are planning to start at 12 in Dwight Hall. Then we should acquaint everyone for thirty minutes or so (we plan to have something to eat, like pizza or cake). Then, around 12:30, I would love to introduce one of your mentors and then perhaps s/he could give a talk.

    I think a presentation ranging from anywhere between 45 to 75 minutes will be great. We would love to get a first-hand account of the mentors experiences with mentorshp, the difficulties, rewards/benefits, tips, expectations, etc. Also, it would be very helpful if s/he could talk about what it means to be a part of Dwight Hall (that is, a social outreach organization).

    Then I think the rest of the YKAMP will brainstorm about possible ideas for our workshops for the kids, have time to meet and work with their respective committees (they are all in a publicity committee, excursion committee, or a workshop committee), make mailings and stamp envelopes, and later pay a visit to one of our board members who was involved in a car accident.

    Basically, if your mentor could lead our workshop for 45-75 minutes starting at around 12:30pm or so, that would be great!

    Thanks so much, I really appreciate it.

    - Flora

    7) Our Education seeks Members

    A message from Our Education:

    For three years, Our Education has been Yale's only student publication dedicated to creating a forum for scholarly work on American educational issues. Now, it's helping mobilize the most underrepresented voice in education policy: America's
    public high school students.

    For the first time, new articles will be uploaded onto our website at at the beginning of every month, giving your ideas national exposure. In addition, a lengthy print edition, distributed in public high schools, will appear in the first week of April. The following themes may serve you well as a starting point, but we accept all submissions. Also, feel free to submit papers from classes.

    - Gifted and Talented Education
    - Alternative Systems of Evaluation
    - Small School Movement
    - College-level Education
    - The curriculum debate: National vs. Local
    - Alternative school structures: charter schools, magnet schools, etc.
    - The history of education in the United States

    If you have an opinion about education--which we know you do--please join Our Education in creating the best forum for the student voice on education in the country. For more information on how to get involved, contact us at usha·chilukuri@yale·edu·

    All the Best,
    Our Education E-Board

    Thanks for reading these messages!

    Johnny Scafidi, Alison Kadesch, and Jerel Bryant