April is going to be a great (and busy!) month

Today is the first day of April, and icouldbe is preparing for a really exciting month… we have tons of news and great stories to share!

In case you don’t already know, April 18-24 is National Volunteer Week. This year’s theme is “Celebrating People in Action.” We have so much to thank our volunteers for, so stay tuned throughout April (and especially Volunteer Week) to hear from mentors, mentees and more.

As if that weren’t enough to celebrate, icouldbe has reached a really important milestone… but you’re just going to have to wait to find out more.

Keep checking in throughout April for constant updates, trivia, stories, and daily posts. Be sure to visit our Facebook and Twitter pages for even more icouldbe news!

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2 responses to “April is going to be a great (and busy!) month

  1. Ronald Baruch

    I think if Icouldbe is to get better, then they need to promote more the communicating between mentors and mentees. I have five mentees and have responded when each posted to the assignments. None of them have responded back to me or made any of the suggestions I have posted. How does Icouldbe expect mentors to continue with this program if it has the above occurring? I also belong to In2books and their program and involvement with teachers, students and pen pals are far above what is happening with this program

  2. Dear Ronald,

    We really hear you on your point and hope this forum becomes a place where our entire community can problem solve around these issues. As a little background, icouldbe.org relies on a four-pillar foundation made up of mentors, mentees, teachers and our staff. Each of the pillars must make a commitment to engage in order for the intended outcomes to be reached. As you note, when the mentees don’t respond, it’s frustrating for the mentors to keep challenging them to do better. The same is true for mentees who have mentors who don’t respond in a timely manner or teachers who are challenged to secure regular computer time for their classes. Managing the give and take between all of the pillars is our greatest challenge at icouldbe.org and one that we focus the great majority of our efforts.

    Let’s address your point and begin with our students. The icouldbe.org mentees attend highly under-resourced schools and are often allowed to slide by because the over-stressed school system is unable to challenge them academically or personally. It is not uncommon for our teachers to tell us that the majority of their 11th grade students are reading at 4th to 6th grade levels. My intention is not to shift blame, but to suggest that for students who are not used to being challenged or meeting challenges – even for the betterment of their own lives – it is very difficult to engage them in relationships, especially ones that require their participation in the hard work that makes up the icouldbe.org curriculum.

    Dumbing down the curriculum is not the answer and, clearly, it hasn’t done anything to help students so far in their academic lives. So how do we engage a disengaged and untrusting student population? Certainly, many of these students feel justified in their dis-engagement – and perhaps rightly so. Without the experience of meeting challenges, students can’t know the meaning of true success. At icouldbe.org we try to instill a sense of hard work and successful reward in combination with a caring adult mentor focused on their needs, goals and ambitions. We aren’t always successful and some students simply don’t engage no matter how hard the mentor or teacher tries. But, many students do and many have gone on to attend college and pursue their dream careers.

    So, how can we entice more students to engage more fully in the icouldbe.org program? We all know that the more you give the more you get. This is true for mentors and mentees alike. But how can we more effectively engage and more deeply engage students to share this knowledge with them – especially young people that are far too often marginalized and isolated from the larger world? This is the question I’d like to pose for our entire community. Come join us here to share your thoughts, ideas and strategies.

    Ronald, thank you for your comment to our blog. We hope it becomes a way for all of us to address the national educational crisis that so many great minds are working to solve.

    Kate Schrauth
    Executive Director

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