A short meeting of the Nevada school board on Monday night centered around the now-approved Teammates mentoring program. Begun in the 1990s by University of Nebraska football coach Tom Osborne, the program matches up mentors and mentees. Their aim is to provide mentorship for any child who wishes, whether that child is the captain of a sports team or considered ‘at-risk.’
Assistant Middle School Principal Lisa Hartman will travel to Teammates’ headquarters in Lincoln, Neb., for training in late July. Nevada will begin implementing the program for the 2017-18 school year. Teammates currently has around 150 schools participating in Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas and Wyoming.
An additional component of the program is that each site that chooses to participate uses a local management board. Hartman said during the meeting that she already has some community members in mind to serve on this board. Teammates is a 501(c)3 organization, so contributions raised by local board members will be considered charitable and tax-deductible.
Teammates employees Brandon Leppke and Jay Wright presented the board’s core values, which include Commitment to Youth, Safety, Integrity and Trust, and Inclusion. The Teammates program will work in tandem with Youth and Shelter Services (YSS), which currently stops its mentoring program after eighth grade. The Teammates program will match its mentors and mentees through high school and into college if the student desires. The goal is for its pairs to meet at least 24 times throughout the school year (meetings will take place on school grounds), as studies have shown this number is where relationships between pairs mature and the mentee trusts his or her mentor.
Hartman contacted the Teammates program after seeing how much some of her pupils looked forward to team-building activities and wanted a way to duplicate this on a larger scale.
The next Nevada school board meeting will be held July 10