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Mentoring Program Starts at South Hill Elementary

A new program will pair a group of South Hill Elementary fourth graders with college student mentors to encourage success.

South Hill has joined the New York State Mentoring Program, a school-based initiative that matches students with adult volunteers who serve as role models. The Ithaca College students will meet with 11 fourth-graders every Tuesday after school in the library.

For the first couple of weeks, the group will meet all together and get to know one another. During the first session on February 13, mentors and mentees learned each other’s names and played games to learn more about each other and find similarities.

Soon, each fourth-grader will be paired with a mentor who will meet with them one-on-one, participating in a variety of activities that align with each student’s interests.
Mentors received training from the New York State Mentoring Program and also participated in a one-hour orientation at South Hill. They will work with students under the supervision of fourth-grade teacher Christine Barley and principal Perry Gorgen.

Volunteers encourage their mentees to stay in school, focus on academics, make good choices, develop confidence, and pursue personal growth. Students were selected by their teachers and principal to participate in the program based on their potential, and mentors will provide guidance, encouragement, and support along the way.

School leaders hope to expand the mentorship program in the future.

“I’m very excited to have our partnership with Ithaca College get a little bigger,” Gorgen said. “I think it’ll be really fun for everyone. This is the first step in what will hopefully be a successful program.”

For more information on the New York State Mentoring Program, visit the program’s website at

Belle Sherman
Beverly J Martin
Cayuga Heights
Fall Creek
South Hill
Boynton Middle
DeWitt Middle
Ithaca HS
Lehman Alternative


Ithaca City School District
Dr. Luvelle Brown, Superintendent
400 Lake Street
Ithaca, NY 14850
(607) 274-2101