We sincerely hope that every mentoring relationship will be continued next school year. Research tells us that match longevity is key to the lasting benefit of the experience. The fact is, however, we cannot know what events in the life of the mentor or the mentee might make it impossible to see one another again. That is why conversations we refer to as “closure activities” are critical to include in your May visits.
Initiate talk about your relationship, letting each other know how special the relationship has been, remembering favorite times, sharing qualities which you admire in your mentee, describing the growth you have seen in them, and, in essence, saying “goodbye” for the summer. Include in your closure conversations all those messages of encouragement and positive regard that you would want your mentee to carry forward, even if your relationship did not continue. Consider asking your mentee if there is a topic they may have wanted to discuss all year that should be covered before summer break.
If you plan to return in the fall, let your mentee know your intent, but avoid a promise that might not be kept. Give your mentee a small memento with a written message that they may keep forever!
Our staff will contact you in August to confirm that you wish to continue mentoring. If you already know that you will not be returning next school year, please be sure that your child knows they are not the reason that you will not be returning. The children we serve experience so much loss that they begin to blame themselves when the adults in their lives “don’t come back.” If your decision is certain, we would be grateful if you would notify your Mentor Director as well.