Story by Kimberly Suits
Photos by Anna Parrish
Al’s Pals is an after school mentoring program that allows university students to mentor local elementary school students. This year, Al’s Pals was funded with the 21st Century Learning Grant, which enabled them to take on a third after school program at Northington Elementary School.
Al’s Pals has been on campus as a member of the Student Affairs Office for four years and they continue to grow each year. The program started with only 60 student mentors and now, they have over 360. More male students were welcomed into the program this year, providing much needed male figures for the elementary school boys.
The goal of Al’s Pals is to bring new and special experiences to the elementary students. The program is rewarding to both the university students and the elementary students. Mentors are thrilled to watch the children grow not only academically, but socially too.
The university mentors are matched with students based on similar interests. Based on those similarities, the mentors are placed in the elementary schools to help students with various activities such as homework, arts and sports.
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