Moments In Mentoring: “Will I be able to connect with a child?”

Ms. Betty Tapley began her mentoring training with a big heart and a big question….”Will I be able to connect with a child?”

The answer to that pivotal question is an unequivocal “yes”!!!

Since being matched with Nikki in January, the pair have had much more in common than we originally thought from their interest surveys.  At their first meeting, they both arrived wearing hot pink sweaters and found out that Nikki loved Elvis and Ms. Betty had been to Graceland!  The conversation took off from there and hasn’t stopped all school year.

Betty and Nikki photo for the newspaper and school newsletter 003

This duo had numerous English tea parties with real china, wrote poetry together, sang, listened to classical music and even survived a fire drill and tornado drill together.  In the last days of school, Ms. Betty and Nikki were found outside the school flying a kite on a beautiful day in May.

When I asked Nikki what she liked best about the CIS/FC Mentoring Program, she said, “It’s fun and makes you feel good.  It helps you express yourself in special ways.  Ms. Betty’s food is good too!!!!  I like to hear her sing and whistle.  I’ve enjoyed our English tea parties and other things we’ve done, but, I really like having a new friend.”

Ms. Tapley stated that mentoring gives her a reason to look forward to Tuesdays now.  She said it hasn’t been hard to come up with ideas for Nikki because they work together.  It doesn’t hurt that we both like to eat either! I showed her how to make pimento cheese sandwiches.  The time just seems to fly by.”

This pair plans to resume their warm and caring mentoring relationship next year as both Nikki and Ms. Tapley excitedly move on to the middle school!

If you are interested in mentoring a child next school year or would like more information about the program, please call Gretchen Wilson-Tuck, CIS/FC Mentoring Coordinator at 478-934-4300 or email at

The next Mentor Training session is set for Thursday, June 25, 2009, 5:00-9:00 at the BOE Training Room.  Please call for reservations.

In addition to the services provided by the Federal Mentoring Project, the Cochran-Bleckley Community Collaborative includes Communities In Schools, Family connection, Drug Free Community Support, Congressional Course Recovery and Remedial Project, 21st Century After School Program and the Safe Schools/Healthy Students Initiative.