HOW TO HELP: Mentoring Organizations
A safe, flexible (and fun!) solution for connecting your mentors and mentees online.
Virtual Mentoring Portal
Created in partnership with MENTOR, Cricket Together’s Virtual Mentoring Portal provides mentoring programs with virtual mentoring access for mentees and their mentors.
Platform is constructed with respect to best practices, safety, and data privacy.
Easy to access, child-friendly web-based interface. (No app to download!)
Integrated, optional curriculum to guide ongoing online interactions.
Program Coordinator dashboard to moderate and monitor match engagement.
Research-based, with 20+ years of eMentoring experience.
Watch a platform demo and informational webinar.
Frequently Asked Questions
Interested school-based and community-based organizations are invited to use the CricketTogether platform to connect mentors and mentees online, in an easy-to-access, safe and secure web-based application. New or existing matches are welcome in our child-friendly online environment that guides matched pairs to progress through a structured correspondence model that keeps them connected virtually, while gently prompting ongoing engagement.
The CricketTogether program is ideal for students ages 12 and under, and focuses on academic success paired with social-emotional support through fun, topic-based explorations.
Participating program staff will have access to an administrative portal that will enable them to manage the program and review mentee and mentor participation and communication on the VMP.
The VMP can successfully be utilized as an exclusive means of interaction between mentors and mentees as well as a supplemental touch point for mentors and mentees also engaging in face-to-face meetings.
The VMP with CricketTogether is being offered to provide a safe and monitored mentoring platform for mentors and mentees ages 12 and under to start or continue relationships, and was originally launched in the summer of 2020 to provide a solution for matches separated due to COVID-19.
As of mid-August, all no-cost participation spots have been taken. (If additional funding is received, we will update this message.)
There is availability for reduced rate ($100 per match) participation. Contact us if you’re interested in securing platform usage for your organization.
The VMP offering is for nonprofit organizations designated as a 501(c)3 charitable organizations under the Internal Revenue Code of the United States that meet the following requirements:
- One-to-one mentoring
- Mentors ages 18 and older must undergo an online background check through CricketTogether
- Cross-Age Peer Mentors ages 17 and younger must have parent/guardian permissions to utilize the VMP
- Mentees and Mentors have internet access and web-enabled devices and program should ensure that additional data fees are not charged to mentees using mobile devices
- The organization has staff/vetted volunteers to support and monitor participation
- All mentees ages 12 and under will need to have verifiable parent/guardian permissions collected by the participating organization
Participating organizations must identify one point person who will support eMentoring implementation within the VMP. This individual must be available to attend training with CricketTogether staff and participate in ongoing monitoring and management of their mentors and mentees directly using the administrative portal.
We intend to provide this service to all organizations in need of a virtual mentoring solution; however our capacity is dependent on ongoing external fundraising efforts and our staff capacity. We will serve organizations that meet the requirements on a first-come first-served basis and will make our best effort to meet the goals of all organizations, including numbers of mentees and mentors served and target start dates.
For organizations serving mentees ages 12 and under, and interested in using the full CricketTogether curriculum, mentees and their mentors will engage in an ongoing correspondence that supports development of the mentees’ self-concept while strengthening and expanding the mentees’ ability to think critically and communicate ideas clearly. The correspondence is fueled by the continual introduction of new reading content, exploring topics of interest that range from STEM innovations to bullying. Your program coordinator selects which topics the mentees and mentors will explore. Mentors read intriguing, topic-related articles selected by their mentee and, with gentle guidance built into the platform itself, the pairs exchange online letters getting to know each other by sharing real-life connections and exchanging perspectives while asking and answering thought-provoking questions about the reading.
The in-platform correspondence prompts pairs to begin and end each letter by connecting around current events in their lives, while the bulk of each exchange dives deep into discussing and exploring the topic. Mentors serve both the role of personal champion for the mentee as well as academic support in helping their mentee develop independent learning skills. Mentors also share the real-life value of learning to their lives and their careers. The teacher or program coordinator propels the conversation forward by regularly launching new topics and calendaring a recommended cadence of correspondence, while ensuring safety through ongoing letter review and moderation. The platform supports teachers and program coordinators by offering real-time data access on match engagement as well as ongoing help desk support, and keeping the mentors engaged through automatic email reminders.
The CricketTogether Platform has passed rigorous PRIVO certification criteria as a safe and secure online mentoring solution for mentees ages 12 and under. With built-in screening, moderation, and data protection to meet COPPA compliance, you can rest assured that your mentors and mentees are in a safe, protected online environment. Visit our safety and security center for detailed information on our security practices and policies.
For school-based programs, our district information package clearly outlines the safety protocol that makes CricketTogether trusted by school districts across the United States.
We do not currently have video chat functionality. All communication through CricketTogether is asynchronous.
Yes! We’re eager to support peer mentoring organizations, and find that the structured mentor portal is highly effective with high-school and college age mentors, providing scaffolding and guidance to support ongoing online interactions with mentees. Peer mentors ages 17 and younger will need verifiable parent/guardian permission to participate in the program.
Our program is designed to support 1:1 mentoring matches. We can accommodate a mentor supporting multiple mentees, but they will support each student in a 1:1 manner through the individualized correspondence.
All training for mentors and mentees is video training, and is embedded within the platform. Mentors and mentees are prompted to watch the training, which gives them a thorough tour of the platform and explains how to best use the platform.
Here are the general steps in the process.
- Complete the interest form to share information about your organization and your needs
- CricketTogether staff will reach out to confirm your interest, answer questions, and share a Partnership Agreement for your review
- Review and sign the Partnership Agreement
- Collect Parent/Guardian Permissions for mentees (and any mentors ages 17 and younger)
- Complete and return a spreadsheet with mentee and mentor match information
- Participate in a training session
- Share login credentials with mentors and mentees
The Virtual Mentoring Portal with CricketTogether accepts new organizations on a rolling basis, so you can start your matches when it best fits your program calendar.
Our staff is available year-round to support your programming through CricketTogether.
The CricketTogether platform is customizable. If you’re interested in displaying your branding or your own curricula within our platform, let us know!
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