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January is National Mentoring Month

After reading Tony Gerlicz’s and Todd Lopez’s piece (“It takes a city for youth to thrive,” The Dais, Jan. 7), I was reminded of how valuable the gift of time is to our youth. January is National Mentoring Month. There are many wonderful mentors and tutors who deserve to be recognized and celebrated for their contribution to our city’s youth week in and week out.

It is worth mentioning that there is an urgent need for more mentors and tutors in Santa Fe. Our children need us now more than ever. What a dream come true were we to have enough adults willing to give their support, knowledge and attention to the children and young adults who need it most.

Communities In Schools is always looking to recruit more volunteer tutors — especially bilingual ones. The need is even greater now that we are expanding into our 11th Santa Fe public school this semester. In addition, willing volunteers might not be aware of the existence of the Santa Fe Mentoring and Tutoring Collaborative. The collaborative is a working group of more than 20-plus local nonprofit organizations, as well as Santa Fe Public Schools and a local charter school. The collaborative includes Communities in Schools, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Inspire, Girls Inc. and the Interfaith Coalition for Public Education, to name a few.

This collaborative strives to leverage limited resources, implement best practices and coordination, while also serving as a hub for willing volunteers to identify the mentoring and tutoring program for which they are best suited. If you are interesting in volunteering and improving a child or young adult’s educational experience, I would encourage you to go to and to find a program that works well for you.

And while you are at it, please wish a tutor/mentor friend or family member a “Happy National Mentoring Month.” Those people are gems in our community.

Kate Mitchell is a volunteer coordinator for Communities In Schools, New Mexico. She lives in Santa Fe.

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