Free, secure platform now provides connection for children 12 and younger and their mentors during physical distancing
MCLEAN, VA, UNITED STATES, May 11, 2020 /EINPresswire.com/ — MENTOR is partnering with Cricket Media to bring CricketTogether to MENTOR’s new Virtual Mentoring Portal to support children age 12 and younger. Through the partnership, the Portal will provide CricketTogether, a safe, guided, and rich curriculum-based correspondence model for virtual mentoring, providing access for existing mentees age 12 and younger and their mentors to continue their relationship while they may be separated due to COVID-19.
“When it became clear that the pandemic and public health requirements meant physical distancing, we knew our number one job was to help mentoring programs ensure this would not lead to even more social disconnection and instability for our young people. To create a safe, urgent, and effective solution, we turned to trusted partners and proven experts to launch the Virtual Mentoring Portal, first with iCouldBe for teens and now with CricketTogether for kids 12 and under,” said David Shapiro, CEO of MENTOR. “This allows us to support hundreds of organizations and thousands of young people by providing not just a technological platform but also proven and age-appropriate developmental content that helps grow minds and relationships at a time when effective tools for both are urgently needed.”
In a MENTOR survey of mentoring programs conducted in mid-March, more than 90 percent of respondents said a virtual mentoring tool would benefit them and the young people they serve. For programs that had not yet made the transition to virtual mentoring, three of the common barriers included liability, access to a safe virtual platform, and funding for technology. The Virtual Mentoring Portal is designed to address those three key concerns. MENTOR is actively fundraising to ensure the Virtual Mentoring Portal remains a no-cost tool while organizations face extraordinary circumstances.
“In this time of physical distancing, relationships matter now more than ever to drive belonging, connection, and stability. We must ensure that physical distance does not lead to disconnection and disorientation,” said David Shapiro, CEO of MENTOR. “Whether they are facing inconvenience or instability, young people need us to show up for them.”
“Children, now more than ever, need the ongoing support and guidance of their mentors, who can provide continued care, connection and support of both their social-emotional and learning needs,” said Laura Woodside, Senior Vice President of Education Products at Cricket Media, “The CricketTogether team is honored to partner with MENTOR to support mentoring organizations impacted by physical distancing during the COVID19 crisis.”
Learn more about the Virtual Mentoring Portal at www.mentoring.org/VMP.
MENTOR is the unifying champion for quality youth mentoring in the United States. Our mission is to expand the quality and quantity of mentoring relationships nationwide. Potential is equally distributed; opportunity is not. A major driver of healthy development and opportunity is who you know and who’s in your corner. 30 years ago, MENTOR was created to expand that opportunity for young people by building a youth mentoring field and movement, serving as the expert and go-to resource on quality mentoring. The result is a more than 10-time increase in young people in structured mentoring relationships, from hundreds of thousands to millions. Today, we activate a movement across sectors that is diverse and broad and seeps into every aspect of daily life. We are connecting and fueling opportunity for young people everywhere they are from schools to workplaces and beyond.
About Cricket Media, Inc.
Cricket Media®, cricketmedia.com, a mission-based global education company known for creating high quality print and multi-media products that expand learning opportunities for everyone. Led by its 9 award-winning publications for children and customizable research-tested collaborative learning/eMentoring/tutoring platforms, the company is committed to making, building, and supporting innovative learning experiences with high-quality age-appropriate content.
CricketTogether provides a convenient, rewarding, and impactful approach to eMentoring: connecting mentors and students virtually across the U.S. in order to overcome geographic and socio-economic barriers. Matched pairs engage within a safe, structured and rich curriculum-based correspondence model that provides Grade 3-8 students in underserved communities with one-to-one ongoing academic and social-emotional support, giving each child the benefit of their own personal champion to help each child to discover and achieve their full potential.