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    Be a Mentor! Be the Difference!


    What is the Lunch Buddies program?

    Lunch Buddies are volunteers that work with students in need of extra help and encouragement during lunch time. The schools participating in this program are Alachua Elementary, Lake Forest Elementary, Metcalfe Elementary, Terwilliger Elementary and Williams Elementary. 

    Please contact the volunteer office to get more information and to register at volunteers@gm.sbac.edu or 352-955-7250.

    Who will you work with?

    Schools identify students who could use a Buddy. Sometimes they are facing social, family and/or academic challenges, or would benefit from an additional positive experience of having a Buddy.

    Do parents or guardians know their students have mentors?

    Yes. Schools require the permission of these student’s parents before a student can be a part of the Lunch Buddies program.

    How and when does mentoring happen?

    Lunch Buddies meet with their assigned student for 30 minutes during the student’s lunch time on a specific day each week.

    The School and District ask that Lunch Buddies do not contact (in person, by phone, text or email) the students, their parents or guardians outside of the school day. Any contact out of the school or the school day would lead to dismissal from the program.


    What is the process for getting started?


    Step 1: Application and Orientation

    You will complete a survey indicating which school, day and time works best for you. You will be contacted by the district Volunteer Office to verify your placement. You will attend one of several orientation sessions and complete the online volunteer application.

    Step 2: Placement

    Once the volunteer application and orientation are complete, school staff will identify a student for the Lunch Buddy, and set up a day and time for their weekly session.

    Step 3: First Visit

    School staff will provide an orientation for Lunch Buddies about all school policies and procedures, including signing in and out at the school’s front office, recording volunteer hours, where to meet with the student, and they will facilitate the first meeting.


    • Lunch Buddies commit to meeting with their students every week on the scheduled day/time for the school year.
    • If a Lunch Buddy cannot attend on their scheduled day, they must contact the Mentor Liaison. If possible, the Mentor Liaison and the Lunch Buddy will try to reschedule for another day that week.
    • The Lunch Buddy Liaison will make every effort to contact the Lunch Buddy if their student is not at school. The Lunch Buddy may call the Lunch Buddy Liaison on their day to make sure the student is at school that day.


Lunch Buddies Resources

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