Frequently Asked Questions:

It is natural to have many questions as you begin mentoring, as well as many more while on your path as a mentor.  The following is a list of FAQs that will help with some of the most common situations that our mentors face.  We have also included a section for our sponsors and donors.

For our new mentors:

Q: How do I get in touch with my mentee’s school contact person for the Griffin-Spalding County Mentor Program?

A: School Contact Persons are listed in your Mentor Manual. You may also find a list of School Contact Persons under the Contact Us tab above.  


Q: What should I do if I am unable to make it to a scheduled appointment with my mentee?

A: If you are unable to attend a scheduled appointment with your mentee, you will need to call the school and leave a message with the front office, so that your mentee can be notified.

Mentees look forward to their visits with mentors and you should offer them the same consideration that you would offer any other person with whom you had to cancel an appointment.


Q: How can I find out what time is best for me to visit my mentee at school?

A: Provide your availability and preferred mentoring times to your mentee's School Contact Person.  They will then check with your mentee's teacher(s) on your behalf.

Student schedules may change throughout the year.  Also, students may face different academic challenges in different subject areas from time to time that may impact visitation times.  The School Contact Person will assist in determining the best time(s) for visiting your mentee, and will notify you if scheduling needs to be adjusted.


Q: What do I need to know about meeting with my mentee outside of school?

A: Griffin-Spalding County Mentor Program is a school-based program. If you wish to meet with your mentee outside of school for any event or activity, you must receive written permission from your mentee's legal guardian each time.


Program-Sponsored & Non-Sponsored Events:

Q: How can I find out about events the Griffin-Spalding County Mentor Program is hosting for mentors and mentees?

A: Hosted events will be listed on the home page of our website under the Upcoming Events section and also listed on the Schedule of Events.  If you have ideas or suggestions for future events, please submit your ideas through the Contact Us link above.  We welcome your insight!


Q: Where can I find the Griffin-Spalding County School District schedule? Is there a list of special events at schools that I can refer to?

A: You can find the Griffin-Spalding County Schools academic and special events calendars at www.spalding.k12.ga.us.  You will find the calendar linked directly to the left-hand side of the school system homepage. 

Be sure to check the calendars for information on school holidays and breaks that may affect your mentoring schedule.


Q: Where can I find age-appropriate ideas for what to do with my mentee when I meet with him/her outside of school?

A: Please note – The Griffin-Spalding County Mentor Program does not require or encourage mentors to meet with mentees outside of school, and any interactions between mentors and mentees off of school premises will require the written permission of the mentee’s legal guardian. 

The following websites may provide useful information that will help you as you plan a guardian approved non-program visitation with your mentee:

·         City of Griffin - http://www.cityofgriffin.com/

·         Chamber of Commerce - http://www.griffinchamber.com/?page_id=230

·         Noah’s Ark - http://www.noahs-ark.org/

·         Scout Me - http://www.scout.me/family-fun--near--griffin-ga


Problems or situations dealing with mentees:

Q: With whom should I communicate if I’m having mentoring challenges? Or if my mentee is having a problem?

A: Your first point of contact for questions or concerns about your mentoring relationship is the designated School Contact Person at your mentee's school. You may also call the program coordinator 678.603.1698

The safety and well-being of our mentees is our top priority.  The designated contacts mentioned above will either assist you with your challenges or will be able to connect you with someone that can.  


Q: I’m having trouble bonding/connecting with my mentee. How can I get him/her to open up?

A: Each program mentee participant is a unique individual with his/her own set of unique challenges.  Many of the challenges that our students face leave them distrusting and distant.  Should you experience this situation, you may initially try activities that do not require a lot of talking.  For example, you might read a book together, help your mentee with schoolwork, or just play on the playground for a while. Over time, as the relationship grows, you will be able to expand the activities that your mentee is actively willing to participate in.  The important thing is to be patient.  You may also want to browse through some of the available resource material that is available under the Mentor Tips and Tools tab above.  


Q: I believe that my mentee may be suffering from abuse or neglect.  What should I do?

A: In 2012, Georgia Code Section 19-7-5, which mandates the reporting of child abuse and neglect, was revised to include volunteers as mandated reporters. It is now required that all persons who volunteer in Georgia's public schools receive training that includes the necessary procedures for reporting the abuse or neglect of a child. 

The mandatory mentor orientation that you attended included information on handling situations involving abuse or neglect.  Refer back to your mentor handbook for direction.  It is required that you report the situation immediately, so please do not delay.


For mentors that can no longer participate:

Q: What should I do if I can no longer honor my commitment to be a mentor?

A: If you can no longer honor your commitment to meet one-hour per week in school with your mentee during the first year, please email the Griffin-Spalding County Mentor Program at elly.zhilyak@gscs.org for guidance on handling the transition.

It is important that we communicate effectively with your mentee during this transition in order to ensure that your mentee does not feel abandoned. Please do not simply stop showing up. With our help, we may be able get your mentee paired with another mentor; however, we can only assist with a transition if you communicate with us about your individual situation.  


Q: How can I find a new mentor for my mentee? I am moving/unable to continue mentoring.

A: If you can no longer honor your commitment to meet one-hour per week in school with your mentee during the first year, please email the Griffin-Spalding County Mentor Program at  elly.zhilyak@gscs.org for guidance on handling the transition.

If you believe you may have a friend or acquaintance that would be a good fit for continuing the relationship with your mentee, please direct them to apply online.  After their application and background check have been cleared, and they have attended the required orientation, we can assist in the transition between mentors.  Your help in finding a new mentor for your mentee is greatly appreciated.     


For our sponsors and donors:

Q: How can my business support the Griffin-Spalding County Mentor Program?

A: Support for our program can take many different forms.  We are always in need of office supplies, refreshments for trainings and events, and additional funding to support the ongoing success of our mentor program.  Supply donations may be brought to our office or we may arrange to pick them up at a specified location.

We also have a PayPal link conveniently located under the Donations tab of our website.  This includes instructions for making a PayPal donation and also instructions on making a donation by check. 

You may also want to consider sponsoring an event for our mentors and mentees to attend together.  Please email us at elly.zhilyak@gscs.org  if you would like more information on event sponsorship. 

The Griffin-Spalding County Mentor Program also schedules special group training orientations for groups of 6 or more.  These special trainings make it very convenient for companies that want to encourage employee involvement in the program.  Please contact us at elly.zhilyak@gscs.org  for more information and to schedule a convenient training time for your team. 


Q: I have several employees/co-workers/friends that would like to become mentors.  Could we have a group training that would make it easier for us to attend the training together?

A: The Griffin-Spalding County Mentor Program appreciates groups that want to help our mentor program, and for your convenience, we will schedule special group training orientations for groups of 6 or more.  Please contact us at elly.zhilyak@gscs.org for more information and to schedule a convenient training time for your group. 


Q: Community involvement is important to my business.  If we sponsor the Griffin-Spalding County Mentor Program, will we receive sponsorship material that we can proudly display to show our clients/customers that we have contributed to this community program?

A: As a way of saying “thank you” to our program sponsors, we will host an annual Sponsor Appreciation Event that will serve as a celebration of the impact we have made by working together.  At this event, sponsors will receive a certificate of appreciation that can be proudly displayed at your place of business.  Please see the Sponsors section of the website for additional information on achieving Platinum or Gold Sponsor Status.

In addition, all program sponsors are featured under the Sponsors section of the website.  If you have a business website of your own, we will have your business name as a hyperlink that will redirect viewers to your business website.