**Our mentoring positions are open and mentors will be matched with students virtually when possible. While mentors will begin volunteering virtually, we plan to transition mentors to in-person service as soon as it is safe to do so. In order to facilitate this, prospective volunteers should be residents of Minnesota.**
Simpson Literacy Mentoring Program
The Simpson Mentoring Program builds on the inherent strengths of young people in our housing program enabling them to maximize their potential. The Literacy Mentoring program uses adult volunteers who commit to a long-term relationship built around supporting, teaching, and exploring with a young person. By becoming part of the social network of adults and community members who care about the youth, the mentor can support the young person in fostering a love of reading and exploring their strengths, interests, history, and identity through literature and outings.
A note during COVID-19: Simpson prioritizes in-person contact in relationships. However, during the pandemic, it may not always be safe for mentors and mentees to meet in person. Following state and local guidelines, Simpson mentors should be prepared to engage in virtual meetings with their mentee, modified in-person meetings following additional health and safety guidelines, or a combination of both.
As of August 2020, Simpson's policy is that mentors meet with their mentees over Zoom or another approved video platform, with the expectation that they will transition to in-person meetings as soon as it is safe to do so. Training on using video platforms, online safety expectations, and Simpson’s process for deciding when to approve in-person meetings will be provided.
Mentors will be paired up with one young person with whom they will meet with regularly. This program is designed to be a mutually beneficial relationship, not a short-term intervention; mentors are strongly encouraged to be open to an ongoing partnership and are expected to commit to the formal program for a minimum of 10 months, with opportunities to continue in formal and informal ways beyond that. They will support the young person in the following ways:
Provide transportation to weekly literacy lessons at a local library and monthly field trip outings and/or connect with young person weekly via approved video chat platforms
Explore and practice literacy skills and concepts using materials and session plans provided by Simpson staff
Attend monthly field trips (minimum of 6 field trips/year) with the student
Support the educational life of the student through communication with Simpson staff, the student’s parent(s), and the school to ensure coordination of support
Serve as a positive role model and friend
Recognize and focus on the unique strengths and interests of the student
Make a long-term commitment of no less than 10 months
Pick up or accept delivery of a 1-month kit of lesson plans each month
Spend a minimum of 1 hour per week on the literacy lesson.
Spend 2-4 hours monthly on a field trip outing
Spend 1-1.5 hours monthly on in-person meetings with the coordinator
Agree to attend mentor-tutor trainings as required. This includes, but is not limited to, an initial 4.5-hour training and at least 1 additional training throughout the year.
Agree to spend time outside of formal trainings engaged in anti-racist work, with support from the coordinator. This may include, but is not limited to, engaging with articles, podcasts, or films recommended by the coordinator, personal reflection, and community events. Agree to actively participate in conversations about this material during monthly check-ins.
Communicate regularly with program coordinator. This includes in -person meetings, filling out lesson logs, and e-mail/phone communication when needed.
Mentor Eligibility Requirements
Be at least 21 years of age
Be willing to adhere to all Simpson Mentoring Program policies and procedures
Commit to all Simpson values, including a commitment to personal and systemic anti-racist work
Complete and pass the screening procedure
Be willing to communicate regularly with the program coordinator and submit monthly meeting and activity information
Have access to an automobile or reliable transportation
Have a current driver’s license, auto insurance with acceptable level of coverage, and good driving record
Have reliable internet and access to a computer, phone, or tablet with video chat capabilities
Have a clean criminal history
Have never been accused, arrested, charged, or convicted of child abuse or molestation
Ability to notice strengths and maintain an attitude of hope in the midst of challenges
Encouraging and supportive
Patient and flexible; willing to try new things and make and learn from mistakes
Open and respectful of individual differences
Reliable and consistent
Opportunity to build authentic connections with the community and individuals
Enjoyment and learning that comes with building a relationship with a young person
Training around positive youth work, tutoring best practices, homelessness issues, cultural competency, and more
Complimentary tickets to field trip outings and participation in recognition events
Personal ongoing support and supervision to help the match succeed
Mileage and expenses are tax-deductible
Application and Screening Process
Driving record check
Criminal history check: national, child abuse and neglect registry, sexual offender registry
Provide three personal references
Attend four-hours of mentor training
For more information, contact Simpson’s Children and Youth Services Manager, Jocelyn Pickreign, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We are committed to building a diverse group of mentors. Mentors of all races, ethnicities, gender identities, sexual/romantic orientations, religions, dis/abilities, and socioeconomic statuses are encouraged to apply. The majority of our families are BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) and members of these communities are especially encouraged to apply.