Peer to Peer Support Program
At TDCC we believe in the benefits of peer to peer mentoring and work with partner schools to advice schools and train mentors in the valuable key skills needed in running a successful peer mentoring program. Training is completed on the school premises and involves 10 to 12 hours of skill development work for mentors.
Cross-age peer mentoring programs are an increasingly popular choice for educators hoping to create positive outcomes for youth. These programs, in which older youth befriend and mentor younger children in a structured environment, are growing in popularity for a number of reasons:
Cross-age peer programs provide growth and learning opportunities for both mentors and mentees, resulting in a “double impact”.
Fewer resources are needed for recruiting mentors. Peer mentors are recruited from student populations within participating schools. These programs tend to take advantage of existing resources and school infrastructure.
They capitalize on the importance of peer relationships for adolescents. Cross-age peer programs take advantage of adolescents’ increasing interest in peer friendships as they enter the teenage years. Mentees’ natural tendency to look up to slightly older youth means that they view their mentor as a role model and someone worth listening to. Peer mentors also benefit from interacting with each other in positive ways through the volunteer experience, often building new relationships beyond their normal circle of friends.
They can help with transition points in participants’ lives. Their involvement in the program can also be a meaningful addition to applications for colleges and future jobs.
They can be more appealing to parents of mentees, who may feel uncomfortable with an unknown adult becoming involved with their child. Having their child participate in a school-sanctioned peer mentoring program that often takes place during the day and is supervised by school staff, may feel safer.
“The mentor program has been a challenging asset and very instrumental to growing my professional career“
What impact can mentoring have?
Peer mentoring has been evidenced as having a positive impact on the emotional health and well-being of children and young people. Peer mentoring can support children and young people by:
- Improve self-esteem, confidence, communication skills, and problem-solving skills
- Improve sense of belonging in school
- Improve pupil attendance in school
- Reduce behavior incidents
- Improve grades/academic achievement