Program pairs SUNY Cortland faculty with high school students

Editor’s Note: This is a press release from the Cortland City School District.

The NYS Mentor program is a collaboration with SUNY Cortland faculty/staff and Cortland Enlarged School District. Recently, students that participated in the program were acknowledged on campus with a Civic Engagement Leadership Award.

The NYS Mentor program works by pairing eight members of SUNY Cortland faculty with eight students from Virgil and Barry ES in grades 4-6. For the past 2 years (2017-2019), the SUNY Cortland faculty have met their paired students at Barry School every Tuesday from September to May to guide, support, increase competence and character.

Students participated in a sharing circle each week to work on communication skills. Students did activities in pairs and large groups that range from civic engagement, celebrating and learning about holidays, making musical instruments, and playing cards and board games.

Guest speakers came to some of the weekly meetings to discuss leadership, share talents, and guide the students through problem solving activities. When the weather allowed, the students and SUNY Cortland faculty played games outside.

Catie Sidebottom, Field Coordinator for the NYS Mentoring program said, “we have all felt honored to be part of this program and have seen such growth with the children throughout the two years we’ve been together.”

“This has been truly amazing for our students. They looked forward to every Tuesday and they have had a much better outlook on life being part of this program” said principal Lisa Kaup.