Moments in Mentoring: Coach Jimmy Kilpatrick is giving back and in a big way

Mr. Jimmy Kilpatrick and mentee

What does a retired football coach from thirty plus years of service to the Bleckley County School system do with some of his free time? He takes time to mentor! Coach Jimmy Kilpatrick is giving back and in a big way. Once a week he can be found in the old high school lunchroom playing games, laughing and most importantly…listening.

When asked why he decided to join the Communities In Schools, Inc. and Family Connection Mentoring program he simply stated, “Well, I have three grandsons of my own and I thought to myself…..I can meet once a week and be a friend to a child. I can do that!” His dedication to his profession is reflected in his mentoring. Mr. Kilpatrick is present in every sense of the word. He says the most rewarding experience he has had with his mentee is just getting to sit and listen to this little boy talk. He explained how easy the bond formed between them and how he has become like a part of his family even though they only get to mentor at school.

Mr. Kilpatrick had a few concerns about becoming a mentor in regards to his past experience of mainly teaching and coaching older students. He wondered if he could really communicate with a 3-5th grader. Those fears have been put to rest as this “team” is a real success story!

Jimmy has clear advice on the topic of Bleckley County residents getting involved in the mentoring program. He simply said, “Try it!! The statement used in our mentoring program really spoke to me as it reads: “You never stand so tall as when you bend down to help a child”. I believe in that statement.”

We are grateful to Mr. Kilpatrick for his dedication to mentoring and to all our mentors. We still need many more mentors, especially males, as referrals come in almost daily. Please consider this something you can do for your community. If you are interested, contact the CIS/FC Mentoring Program at 478-934-4300.




Safe Schools/Healthy Students Grant

The SS/HS Initiative is a unique Federal grant-making program designed to prevent violence and substance abuse among our Nation’s youth, schools, and communities.

The Federal Government is committed to reducing school violence.  The SS/HS Initiative is an unprecedented collaborative grant program supported by three Federal agencies – the U.S. Departments of Education, Health and Human Services, and Justice.  The SS/HS Initiative seeks to develop real-world knowledge about what works best to promote safe and healthy environments in which America’s children can learn and develop,

Since 1999, more than 276 urban, rural, suburban, and tribal school districts – in collaboration with local mental health and juvenile justice providers – have received grants using a single application process.  These grantees are implementing comprehensive programs that address all of the following five elements:

  • Element 1:  Safe school environments and violence prevention activities
  • Element 2:  Alcohol and other drug prevention activities
  • Element 3:  Student behavioral, social, and emotional supports
  • Element 4:  Mental health services
  • Element 5:  Early childhood social and emotional learning programs

Our multi-district initiative includes Bleckley, Johnson, Telfair and Tattnall counties.  We have completed training in the following:  Families and Schools Together (FAST), Parents as Teachers (PAT) ages 0-3 and 3-5, Second Step Violence Prevention, Olweus Bullying Prevention, Ripple Effects and Mendez Too Good For Drugs and Violence.

Our team includes:

Regina Smith – Regional Project Director

Yvette Blanton – Administrative Assistant

Stefanie Clardy – Mental Health Therapist (BCPS & BCES)

Evette Moore – Mental Health Therapist (BCMS & BCHS)

Lynn Lucas – Family Outreach Coordinator (BCPS & BCES)

Gretchen Wilson-Tuck – Family Outreach Coordinator (BCMS & BCHS)

Patricia Robertson – Wellness Coordinator

Phillis Evans – Parents as Teachers Coordinator

Alice Maddox – Bookkeeper