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    Be a Mentor! Be the Difference!


    What is Lunch Buddies?

    Lunch Buddies is a lunchtime mentoring program where adults are paired with students in need of extra attention and companionship of a caring adult. Businesses, organizations and individuals are encouraged to get involved. The schools participating are Alachua Elementary, Lake Forest Elementary, Metcalfe Elementary, Terwilliger and Williams Elementary. Mentors are generally paired with 3rd graders. However, some exceptions may be made for students in need. Williams Elementary is expanding the program to include additional grades. See the schedule at the right.

    Please contact Liz Stark to get more information and to register at starkef@gm.sbac.edu or 352-955-7250 X6411.

    Who are the students, and how are they identified?

    School personnel identify each student who could especially benefit from a mentoring relationship. Sometimes they are facing social, family and/or academic challenges, or are just at a point in their lives where they will especially benefit from an additional positive and encouraging adult who spends time with them.

    Do parents or guardians know their students have mentors?

    Parents are informed by school personnel to assure they are in favor of their student having this opportunity.

    How and when does mentoring happen?

    Each mentor meets one-to-one with their assigned student for 30 minutes during the student’s lunch time on a designated day each week. Mentors only meet with students on school grounds when school is in session. There is no contact (in person, by phone, text or email) with the students outside of the school at any time. There is no contact with the parent or guardian of the student.

    What is the process for getting started?

    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 School Volunteer Office to verify your placement. You will attend an orientation session or be emailed mentor orientation materials to read and complete the online volunteer application.


    The school is identified based on the volunteer’s preference. Once the application and orientation is complete, school staff pairs the mentor with a student and set a mutually agreed upon day of the week and time for the student and volunteer to meet.

    First Visit

    School staff orients the volunteer to all procedures, including signing in and out at the school’s front office, recording volunteer hours, where and how to meet with the student, and facilitates a first meeting.

    What are the ongoing procedures?

    • Once established, the expectation is that the volunteers are committed to meet with their students on the scheduled day and time each week for the school year.

    • If a volunteer cannot attend on the scheduled day, they contact the Mentor Liaison and if possible, arrange to meet with their student on a different day that week. (It is understood that there may be an occasion when the volunteer will miss a meeting.)

    • The Mentor Liaison will try to contact the volunteer if their student will not be in school. This may not be possible. The mentor can always call ahead.

    • Use the resources link to assist you in being a great mentor!

    What are the benefits of involvement?

    You are making a difference to a student through a lasting and impactful contribution of your time, and it’s fun!


Lunch Buddies Resources