Partners Program Honored by Massachusetts Campus Compact
May 10, 2011
SPRINGFIELD, Mass., April 27, 2011 -- The Springfield College Partners Program was honored as a finalist for the Massachusetts Campus Compact President’s Service Award at a celebration on April 12, 2011, at the University of Massachusetts, Boston.
The after-school program pairs 80 Springfield College students with 80 children, aged eight to 12, for weekly mentoring sessions on the college campus. Participating children are students at the Elias Brookings and William N. DeBerry schools in Springfield’s Old Hill neighborhood adjacent to the college.
The program helps youngsters improve academically and socially and increases awareness that higher education can be accessible to them. Activities include tutoring, teambuilding, self exploration, anti-bullying and recreation, as well as dinner on the campus.
The college students work with one child for eight months to three years. Mentoring relationships are most beneficial when mentors and mentees maintain the relationship over an extended period in a structured setting.
According to Charlene Elvers, Springfield College director of student volunteer programs, “This program has shown that by working together, we can make a difference in each others’ lives. Youngsters gain positive, caring role models. Our students learn about children from different cultures and backgrounds and gain experiences that will be valuable throughout their lives.”
Now in its 17th year, the Springfield College Partners Program has served more than 600 elementary school children.