Youth Mentoring Services
LSS Mentoring Services matches volunteer mentors with children in the Sioux Falls area. The goal is to empower young people to succeed by establishing trusting relationships with adult volunteers.
Good mentors have a significant impact on youth by providing guidance and developing consistent, long-term friendships. LSS operates three distinct youth mentoring programs.
- In School: mentoring in schools, grades PreK to 12
- High School: mentoring in and out of schools, grades 9 to 12
- Community: mentoring in the community, ages 7 to 14, previously known as Big Brothers Big Sisters
IN SCHOOL MENTORING
In our largest youth mentoring program, In School Mentoring volunteers spend one hour per week with an elementary or middle school student at the school. Mentors and students spend time doing a variety of activities together, including:
playing board games
reading a book
eating lunch together
simply sitting and talking
In School Mentoring offers a flexible volunteer option. With schools located in nearly every neighborhood, mentors can select a location that is best for them. Matches meet during the school lunch hour. The time varies from school to school, but it’s generally a 30 to 45 minute block of time between 11am and 1pm.
School counselors select a young person who can use extra one-to-one attention from a caring adult role model. Counselors are responsible for matching students with an In School mentor.
In School mentors can volunteer in the following school districts: Sioux Falls, Baltic, Brandon Valley, Canton, Dell Rapids, Flandreau, Garretson, Harrisburg, Lennox, Tea Area, Tri-Valley and West Central.
HIGH SCHOOL MENTORING
96% of youth were highly satisfied with their mentor.
The High School Mentoring Program offers support from school staff as well as support from the LSS High School Mentoring Program Coordinator. High School Mentoring matches can meet during the school day or during out of school hours.
High School matches commit to meeting four hours per month until the student graduates. This helps ensure a stable presence and support throughout the student’s high school career. Mentors assist students in setting and meeting goals in relationship development, school and work readiness and being a good citizen.
Students can be referred to this program by school personnel, case managers, parents/guardians, counselors or self-refer. LSS matches qualified students with volunteers based on need and student interest level. Complete a High School Mentoring referral form to enroll a student.
Community Mentoring matches volunteer mentors with children ages 7 to 14 who meet outside of school in the community. Matches are supported by the LSS Community Mentorng Program Coordinators who works to ensure a successful experience for all.
Children can start meeting with a Community mentor after they turn 7 years old, and must be under the age of 14 to enroll as a new participant. Established matches can continue to meet after the child turns 14.
Community matches meet for four hours per month with dates, times and the activity of each meeting set by the match. To help with this, LSS provides an activity card that offers discounts to program participants and hosts monthly events that all matches are invited to attend.
Parent/guardian involvement is essential in Community Mentoring and is needed to initiate enrollment in the program. Parent/guardians are also expected to work with mentors to schedule meetings and to respond to program staff. Click here to enroll your child in LSS Community Mentoring.
Hear what youth mentors have to say about their experience.
“A lot of kids today don’t have that foundation that I had. I like to do what I can to help with that foundation”
“Think about when you were a kid. Think about an adult who made a difference in your life”
“An adult who took a little time to play a game, to ask about your day, to hang out. Think about what that meant to you.”
Mentoring youth is a great way to become a positive, trusted presence in the lives of students who need your guidance. Find out more about youth mentoring services with LSS.
Watch more video clips about what students have to say about their mentoring experience and learn how to become a mentor today.