Eighth-graders give mentoring presentation to Fraser trustees | SkyHiNews.com

Eighth-graders give mentoring presentation to Fraser trustees

Autumn Phillips
Grand County, Colorado

Eighth-graders from East Grand Middle School gave the first of several presentations about a mentoring program they hope to create at Wednesday night’s Fraser Board of Trustees meeting.

They have also scheduled presentations for upcoming board meetings in all other East Grand towns.

Dillon Berger, Natasha Stenicka, Maddie Lutz, Kylie Marchiori, Seraphina Smith, Brenna Barnes and Megan Lovato gave a PowerPoint presentation outlining the need for a mentoring program in Grand County. Their concerns included a recent survey in which 30 percent of eighth-graders in Grand County reported binge drinking and another statistic that showed teen pregnancy doubled in Grand County last year from 10 to 20.

Grand County had a mentoring program more than a decade ago that closed because of a lack of volunteers.

The students are working with Deb Ruttenberg at the Grand County Juvenile Services Department and Tonya Shipman at County Department of Social Services. According to teacher Abby Loberg, a mentoring program should be in place in six to nine months.

Mentors will be asked to give three hours a week for a minimum of a year. Mentors will go through a background check and be given six hours of training before being paired with a child.

The student presentation estimated the cost of the program to be $150,000 to $200,000 a year, based on a similar program in Routt County. They hope to fund the program through federal funds set aside specifically for mentoring programs.

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