Evidence Based Activities to Build Mentoring Relationships

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As program staff, how many times have you heard a mentor say, “I don’t know what to do with my mentee” or “My mentee just doesn’t want to work on academics”? Probably more often than you’d like! In this month’s webinar, part of the free series from Friends for Youth's Mentoring Institute, we review the latest research on how activities between mentors and mentees positively and negatively impact the relationship, discuss the purpose of activities in building the relationship, and focus on one particular activity through a variety of formats. Additionally, participants were invited to share ideas of activities appropriate for a range of mentees.

Goal setting, an important aspect within both instrumental and developmental approaches, was examined through two specific examples used by mentoring programs: Targeting Goals activities contained in the Mentoring Journal from Friends for Youth and the online Goal Setting tool available through the AmericaLearns platform from Blue Ribbon Advocate-Mentor Program. Each program discussed when and how they introduce these tools to maximize the relationship and further its development.

This webinar featured Graig Meyer, Program Coordinator from the Blue Ribbon Mentor-Advocate Program in Chapel Hill, NC with Sarah Kremer from Friends for Youth both sharing expertise on supporting mentors in brainstorming effective activities.

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Evidence Based Activities to Build Mentoring Relationships

  1. 1. Transforming lives through the power of mentoring Friends for Youth’s Mentoring Institute November 2011 Webinar
  2. 2. Webinar Logistics: Adding Comments•  All attendees muted for best sound•  Type questions and comments in the question box; responses will either be direct to you or shared with all attendees•  “Raise your hand” to be unmuted at end to ask question live during webinar •  Works best for telephone or headset-to-computer connections •  Please monitor background noise
  3. 3. Panelists Sarah Kremer Graig Meyer Program Director Program CoordinatorFriends for Youth’s Blue Ribbon MentorMentoring Institute Advocate Program
  4. 4. Link to slides and recordingof webinar will be posted tohttp://www.friendsforyouth.org/Webinars.htmlResource links included infollow-up emailSurvey as you exit webinar
  5. 5. AGENDA•  Purpose and importance of activities in building relationship•  Prescriptive, developmental, instrumental approaches•  General activities•  Goal setting activities•  Discussion
  6. 6. Theory: Relationship Building Higher relationship satisfaction through strong emotional connection •  “Positive relationships are seen as the primary way that mentoring leads to improved outcomes for youth who are mentored.” Nation, M., Keener, D., Wandersman, A., & DuBois, D. (2005) •  Rhodes’ model of youth mentoring: “a close mentoring relationship characterized by mutuality, trust, and empathy is the catalyst for several intertwined developmental processes pertaining to the social-emotional, cognitive, and identity development of youth.” Rhodes, J. (2005)
  7. 7. Theory: Relationship Building•  “The presence of a strong emotional connection has been found to be a distinguishing feature of those mentoring relationships that are associated with better outcomes such as improvements in perceptions of scholastic competence and feelings of self-worth.”•  Relational processes underpinning successful mentoring relationships: Authenticity, Empathy, Collaboration, Companionship Spencer, R. (2006)
  8. 8. Mentoring as Relational Intervention: Collaboration “He supports me in like, he asks me… what I’ve been doing in like, science since I like science a lot. And what I’ve been doing in math and it supports me… to do more work in science and math and other subjects.” JaShawn, a mentee “I’d talk to him on Monday and he’d say oh, I can’t wait for Saturday. He just really hated school.” Wolfgang, a mentor Spencer, 2006
  9. 9. Theory: Relationship Building•  Successful mentoring relationships are characterized by meaningful interactions that help build relationship –  Trust-building –  Maintaining boundaries –  Good communication –  Realistic expectations•  Meaningful interactions come from meaningful activities
  10. 10. Mentor Approach• Prescriptive (hint: think prescribed)• Developmental (hint: think development)• Instrumental (hint: think instrument or tool)
  11. 11. Activity: Instrumental vs. Developmental
  12. 12. Mentoring Approach/Activities Improved  connectedness to  Mentee feels  school  •  Empathy, praise,  a7en8on from  mentor  • He/she “ma7ers”  to mentor  Improved  • Valued by mentor  connectedness to  teachers  Karcher, M. (2006) 
  13. 13. Mentoring Approach/Activities Instrumental Developmental Karcher, M. (2006) 
  14. 14. BUT – Remember…•  For some mentees who are unable to form relationships, focusing on goals or projects may be successful approach to building the relationship•  Expectations around instrumental activities only work with resources and structure to support them Nakkula, M. (2010)
  15. 15. Mentoring Activities How mentors approach  mentoring rela8onship  Developmental  Instrumental  How mentors  and mentees  What happens  decide what to during mee8ngs  do together Goal‐directed  Unilateral Rela8onal  Success of  Collabora8ve  mentoring  Reciprocal  rela8onship  Karcher & Nakkula, 2010
  16. 16. Mentoring Activities • Goal-directed: explicit How mentors approach  outcomes are priority mentoring rela8onship  Developmental  • Relational: building and Instrumental  sustaining relationship is How mentors  priority and mentees  What happens  decide what to during mee8ngs  do together Goal‐directed  Unilateral Rela8onal  Success of  Collabora8ve  mentoring  Reciprocal  rela8onship  Karcher & Nakkula, 2010
  17. 17. Mentoring ActivitiesDevelopmental Instrumental•  Discussion of How mentors approach  •  Academic relationships mentoring rela8onship  discussion•  Casual Developmental  about behavior, conversation Instrumental  attendance,•  Playing sports How mentors  dropping out•  Playing games and mentees  •  Discussion What happens  decide what to  during mee8ngs •  Creative about do together  activities Goal‐directed  importance of Unilateral  Rela8onal  future Success of  Collabora8ve  •  Tutoring/ mentoring  Reciprocal  homework rela8onship  Karcher & Nakkula, 2010
  18. 18. Mentoring Activities• Unilateral: one- How mentors approach  sided mentoring rela8onship •  Collaborative:Developmental  How mentors Instrumental  reflects both unique and mentees  perspectives decide what to  do together • Reciprocal: taking Success of  Unilateral  turns or give-and- mentoring  take Collabora8ve  rela8onship  Reciprocal 
  19. 19. What Works Best? How mentors approach  mentoring rela8onship  Developmental  Instrumental  How mentors  and mentees  What happens  decide what to during mee8ngs  do together Goal‐directed  Unilateral Rela8onal  Success of  Collabora8ve  mentoring  Reciprocal  rela8onship  Karcher & Nakkula, 2010
  20. 20. What Works Best? How mentors approach  mentoring rela8onship  Developmental  Instrumental  How mentors and  What happens  mentees decide during mee8ngs  what to do  together Goal‐directed  Unilateral Rela.onal  Success of  Collabora.ve  mentoring  rela8onship  Reciprocal  Karcher & Nakkula, 2010
  21. 21. Positive Youth Development •  Prepares young people to meet challenges of adolescence and adulthood through coordinated, progressive series of activities and experiences •  Purpose: become socially, morally, emotionally, physically, and cognitively competent •  Strengths-based vs. deficit-based •  Youth are resources, not problems
  22. 22. Mentoring as Asset Intervention•  Not only reducing risky behavior but supporting strengths•  Assist in providing assets where possible and appropriate, not providing all of them or solving all problems•  Assets grounded in relationships
  23. 23. Friends for Youth’s Mentoring Institute Mentoring Journal Some of the best times you can have 101 Simple Activities HOBBIES, ARTS, & CRAFTS 75. Attend a life-skills workshop. together may be ANYWHERE 1. Share a silly story from your past. 39. Paint or draw in this Journal. 40. Pick wild flowers and press them. 76. Find a fun neighborhood and take a walking tour. 77. Experience a school theatrical production together. 2. Describe something about your culture and heritage with one another. 78. Tour the control tower of a small local airport. 41. Make friendship bracelets for each other. doing simple things. 3. Tell each other funny jokes. 4. Share something important that is going on in each of your lives. 42. Design some stationery with paints or colored pencils. 43. Take pictures of each other and make frames for your photos. 79. Visit your local community center, YWCA/YMCA, or teen center. 5. Find out about each other’s favorite things—food, movies, music, etc. 80. Go to a flea market. 44. Try woodworking. Just talking and 6. Read through these ideas together and plan your next few activities. 81. Walk a dog. 45. Start a rock collection. 46. Make a model airplane, or car, or ship. 82. Take a guided tour of a local community college or AT HOME 47. Play a musical instrument or start a band with four-year college. 7. Rent a movie or borrow one from the library and make popcorn. 83. Go to a local art festival or parade. being together is your friend and sing songs. 8. Wash a car together and have a water fight. 84. Take a class together (cooking, karate, pottery, etc.). 48. Draw on a sidewalk with chalk. 9. Look through photo albums. 85. Explore tidepools. 49. Tie-dye shirts. 10. Grow your own veggies in a garden. 50. Learn to crochet, sew, cross-stitch, or knit. important in 11. Make a playlist of your favorite music together. 12. Watch a scary movie in the afternoon. 51. Collect stickers and add them to this journal. 52. Create your own Zen garden. SPORTS 86. Play Frisbeem shoot hoops, or kick a soccer ball 13. Work on the engine of a car. at the park. developing a good 14. Watch a favorite television show. 15. Learn a new creative program on a computer. NATURE 53. Take a picnic lunch to the park or beach. 87. Hit a few golf balls at the driving range. 88. Watch a professional sports game in-person or on TV. 16. Work on homework or a school project. 89. Lift weights, do aerobics, or practice yoga. 54. Volunteer to restore a local natural habitat. relationship. 17. Read the same book and then talk about it. 90. Jump on a trampoline. 55. Go on a walk or a hike on a nature trail. 18. Write thank-you letters to important people in your lives. 91. Try in-line skating or regular rollerskating together. 56. Race snails. 57. Plan a photo safari—take pictures of animals 92. Play tennis. FOOD 93. Go skateboarding. Not every activity in their natural environment. 19. Make ice cream sundaes, cakes, or cupcakes. 94. Shoot some pool. 58. Fly a kite on a windy day. 20. Bake homemade cookies. 95. Attend a collegiate sports game. 59. Build a sandcastle at the beach. 21. Cook dinner together. 96. Go miniature golfing. 60. Watch a sunset. needs to be a great 22. Roast marshmallows and make s’mores. 23. Make a dish with veggies from your garden. 61. Go to a park and see who can swing the highest. 62. Gaze at the night sky and create a star map. 97. Rent a tandem bike and ride on a Bay trail. 98. Go jogging on a local trail. 24. Plan a dinner where you choose a different country for each course. 99. Teach each other your favorite sport. 63. Plant native wildflowers in pots or planter boxes for adventure or expensive 25. Meet early in the morning for breakfast. 26. Dip your favorite fruit in chocolate fondue or veggie in cheese fondue. each of your homes. 100. Find another mentor pair and learn double dutch. 101. Challenge your friend to a game of Ping Pong or fooseball. 27. Make a homemade pizza. OUTINGS Activity Suggestions entertainment. 28. Talk about your favorite recipes. 64. Go to a free play, movie, or concert in the park. 29. Barbecue shish kebobs. 65. Visit a shopping center or mall. 30. Create a new kind of homemade ice cream. 66. Hang out by the water (pool, lake, river, or ocean). 31. Make yummy treats for your Program Coordinator, family, or friends. Simply hang out or 67. See a movie. 68. Go to a farmer’s market. GAMES 69. Explore a county fair. 32. Learn a classic game, like Pick-up Sticks or Jacks. 70. Take a tour of your local fire station. try one of 33. Make and put together a puzzle. 34. Play cards. 71. Go to a bookstore or library. 72. Feed animals at a petting zoo. 35. Blow bubbles. 73. Volunteer at a retirement community. the following 36. Enjoy a board game like Monopoly or checkers. 37. Do magic tricks for each other. 74. Together with another mentor pair, plan and do something fun. 38. Play an interactive dance or movement video game. 101 suggestions.6 mentoring journal introduction 7
  24. 24. Friends for Youth’sMentoring InstituteAcademic ActivityGuide
  25. 25. MentoringResource Center’sMaking the Grade:A Guide toIncorporatingAcademicAchievement IntoMentoringPrograms andRelationships
  26. 26. Taking Activities to Next LevelAc8vity  Why It’s Good for My  While We’re At It  Mentee Baking cookies  Good skill to learn;  Encourage mentee to read  conversa8ons strengthen  recipe, measure  rela8onship; cookies to eat  ingredients; could take  cookies to neighbor,  someone in need Plan8ng garden  Sa8sfying to see when  Take flowers to someone in  plants grow; visual  need or to thank someone;  reminder; opportunity for  plant garden for someone  harder topics  who needs help A7ending professional  Fun; exci8ng; watch favorite  Conversa8ons about players sports game  players in person  who “made good”; talk  about reality of making it to  pros and other ways of  working in sports  Probst, 2006
  27. 27. Taking Activities to Next LevelAc8vity  Why It’s Good for My  While We’re At It  Mentee 
  28. 28. Tips in Planning Activities•  Be honest and upfront about ups and downs in relationship•  Brainstorm new activities to do together•  Set goals for your relationship•  Empower your mentee to share thoughts and feelings•  Be sensitive to developmental stage of your mentee and find out about other stressors Probst, 2006
  29. 29. Why Goal Setting?•  Goals help youth develop self confidence.•  Goals help develop motivation and sense of purpose.•  Goals help youth develop a sense of accomplishment.•  Goals help develop self-control.•  Goals help youth see connections to academics.•  Goals help develop self-reliance and self- management.•  Goals help youth gain awareness of options.•  Goals help develop positive attitude. Mentoring Resource Center, 2005
  30. 30. Age Appropriate Goals •  Elementary School: Exposure •  Middle School: Identity •  High School: Future Orientation
  31. 31. Sustaining and Deepening Your Relationship Through Goals •  Discuss why goals matter •  Choose specific goals •  Identify Activities •  Assign Roles •  Set Deadlines
  32. 32. Goal  Ac(vi(es/Steps  Roles/Responsibili(es  Timeline Read and  Read books, write  Mentee: Read selected  Book 1 by discuss books  summary, and then  books  June 23. from Summer  discuss, like a book club  Book 2 by Reading List  format   Mentor: Will take the  July 15.   When we do this, we’ll  lead on star8ng the  Book 3 by  also plan something  discussion because she  August 6.  else for part of our 8me  has been involved in  together    book clubs before Stay involved  Ac8vi8es that we both  Mentor: Wants to run at  Tennis: Fall in outside  like: Bike riding, tennis,  least once/week at  2005  ac8vi8es    horseback riding,  middle school track     All others:  running  monthly  Mentee: Will build up to  2005‐06     running 5 8mes around  track    
  33. 33. Is this Strategy? How mentors approach  mentoring rela8onship  Developmental  Instrumental  How mentors and  What happens  mentees decide during mee8ngs  what to do  together Goal‐directed  Unilateral Rela.onal  Success of  Collabora.ve  mentoring  rela8onship  Reciprocal  Karcher & Nakkula, 2010
  34. 34. Find the Full Strategy AmericaLearns.net•  Tracking and supporting volunteers•  Full strategy available at: http://superstars.americalearns.net•  http://superstars.americalearns.net/2006/06/june-2006- syndee-kraus-go-to-for.html
  35. 35. Friends for Youth’s Mentoring InstituteMentoring Journal
  36. 36. Making the Grade: A Guide to Incorpora8ng  Academic Achievement Into Mentoring Programs  and Rela8onships, 2005  Goal Map Where Middle Goal: College I am Pass math School Goal: X (ugh!) Pass more math! And English! Goal: 5th grade Fill out forms! Pass physical! at Smith High Goal: Elementary Learn good study habits Goal: School Learn more about being Where an astronaut I want to be Other careers that are almost as good: Activities: • Pilot • Look up stuff about being an astronaut in the library and/or on the Internet • Aeronautical • Field trip to science museum to look at space engineer • Astronomer An exhibits • Job shadow an aeronautical engineer (if Astronaut! available; if not, maybe a pilot)67
  37. 37. Making the Grade: A Guide to Incorpora8ng  Academic Achievement Into Mentoring Programs  and Rela8onships, 2005  Making the GradeH A N D O U T Top 10 List (Why Goals Are Worth Having) 1. They help you be who you want to be. You can have all the dreams in the world, but if you don’t act on them, how will you get where you want to go? When you “The larger the know how to set a goal and go for it, you chart a path of action that takes you step goal, the greater by step toward the future you want. my feeling of 2. They stretch your comfort zone. Goals involve a few risks (the healthy kind). In triumph.” pursuit of a goal, you may find yourself talking to new people, trying out for a — Jessica, 15 team, performing on stage, making a speech, or doing something else that draws people’s attention. Pushing yourself past your normal comfort zone is a great way to grow. 3. They boost your confidence. When you set a goal and reach it, you prove to “I know having goals yourself and others that you’ve got what it takes to get things done. Goals not makes my parents only make you stronger—they help you feel good about yourself, too. proud of me. They see how hard I work 4. They give your life purpose. Goals show you—and the world—what you value. They to reach my goals also give you a sense of direction. When you’re going after your goals, you’re less and how responsible likely to spend your days feeling bored or wasting your time. I am. As a result, they trust me more.” 5. They help you rely on yourself. You don’t have to let other people decide your life for you. You can take charge of your life by setting goals and making a plan to — Eric, 15 reach them. Once you get into the goal-setting habit, you’ll notice that you feel a lot more independent. (And the people around you will notice your new independence, too!) 6. They encourage you to trust your decisions. You’re at a point in your life where you’re making more decisions at home and at school. Sometimes, it’s really “There’s no greater easy to go along with the crowd or be swayed by what other people want you feeling than setting a to do. But when you keep your goals in mind, your choices will become goal and accomplish- clearer. You’ll learn to trust your decisions, because they’re right for you. ing it. When you do, you’ve got something 7. They help you turn the impossible into the possible. Goal setting breaks down that will last the rest seemingly out-of-reach dreams into small, manageable, and practical steps. of your life.” You can turn “someday” dreams into real-life accomplishments. — Pettus, 18 8. They prove that you can make a difference. Are your goals about changing your own life? Are they about changing the lives of others and improving the world? Whether you want to make a difference in your own life or someone else’s, goal setting helps you achieve what you set out to do—one step at a time. 9. They improve your outlook on life. Goals help you move forward—a positive direction to be going. (Much better than sitting still or getting nowhere at all.) This momentum is a real energizer. You’ll feel more positive, guaranteed. 10. They lead to feelings of satisfaction. Studies have shown that people who set and reach goals perform at higher levels, are more satisfied with themselves, and achieve more. In fact, if you look at the goal setters you know or admire (friends, family members, teachers, business owners, community leaders, athletes, celebrities), you’ll probably see people who are proud of their success and eager to keep aiming for more in life. Excerpted from What Do You Really Want? How to Set a Goal and Go for It! A Guide for Teens by Beverly K. Bachel, © 2001. Used with permission of Free Spirit Publishing Inc., Minneapolis, MN; 1-866-703-7322; http://www.freespirit.com. All rights reserved.68
  38. 38. Questions?
  39. 39. Karcher, 2008, The study of mentoring in the learning environment (SMILE): A randomized evaluation of the effectiveness of school-based mentoring. Prevention Science, 9, 99-113.Karcher, Herrera, & Hansen, “I dunno, what do you wanna do?”: Testing a framework to guide mentor training and activity selectionKarcher & Nakkula, Youth mentoring with a balanced focus, shared purpose, and collaborative interactions both in Karcher, M. & Nakkula, M. (Eds.) 2010. New Directions for Youth Development No. 16: Play, Talk, Learn, Promising Practices in Youth Mentoring. Wiley Periodicals: San Francisco, CA.Kremer, S. (2005). Friends for Youth’s Mentoring Journal. http://www.friendsforyouth.org/MentorJournal.htmlLaird, H. (2003). Friends for Youth’s Academic Activity Guide. http://www.friendsforyouth.org/AcademicActivityGuide.htmlMentoring Resource Center, 2005, Making the Grade: A Guide to Incorporating Academic Achievement Into Mentoring Programs and Relationships. http://educationnorthwest.org/resource/647Probst, K. (2006). Mentoring for Meaningful Results: Asset-Building Tips, Tools, and Activities for Youth and Adults. Minneapolis: Search Institute.
  40. 40. Webinar SpecialOrder online atwww.mentoringinstitute.organd use promo codesWEBMJ2011 for Mentoring JournalsWEBAAG2011 for Academic Activity Guidesto receive 40% off until 12/17/11
  41. 41. Thank you!Link to slides and recordingof webinar will be posted tohttp://www.friendsforyouth.org/Webinars.htmlResource links included infollow-up emailSurvey as you exit webinar
  42. 42. Next Webinar•  Tuesday, December 13 Social Media + National Mentoring Month = Opportunity with April Riordan, MPMN, and Rich Greif, Mass Mentors
  43. 43. Mentoring Institute Conference13th Annual Mentoring Conference Making A Difference Every Day: Program Support in Youth Mentoring February 9-10, 2012Tim Cavell, Ph.D. Keynote SpeakerOracle Conference Center
  44. 44. www.mentoringinstitute.org 650-559-0200 http://www.facebook.com/pages/Friends-for-Youth/ 105093182858863 http://twitter.com/friendsforyouth http://www.friendsforyouth.blogspot.com/ http://www.youtube.com/user/FriendsforYouthOrg

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