Posted by Carrie Fenn on Feb 03, 2021

Our speakers today are Joshua Rooney and Alice Brown, mentoring coordinators for the Champlain Valley School District (CVSD).

February 3, 2021


CSH Rotary via Zoom


Bob Sanders, Carrie Fenn, Linda Gilbert, Linda Barker, Nancy Danforth, Sam Feitelberg, Susan Grimes, Chris Davis, Jim Donovan, Ric Flood, Jessica Brumstead, John Hammer, Charlie Kofman, Denis Barton, Howard Seaver, John Pane, Carole Obuchowski, Jonathan Lowell, Margaret Woodruff, Richard Fox, Dan York, Rosalyn Graham, Bill Deming, Diana Vachon

Guest speakers: Joshua Rooney and Alice Brown from the Mentor program at CVSD.


Susan Grimes offered our opening words.

I Dream a World by Langston Hughes


I dream a world where man
No other man will scorn,
Where love will bless the earth
And peace its paths adorn
I dream a world where all
Will know sweet freedom's way,
Where greed no longer saps the soul
Nor avarice blights our day.
A world I dream where black or white,
Whatever race you be,
Will share the bounties of the earth
And every man is free,
Where wretchedness will hang its head
And joy, like a pearl,
Attends the needs of all mankind-
Of such I dream, my world!



Coat drive is closed out- it was a successful drive and we were able to get winter clothing to people in need.


Fundraising efforts are continuing and going well.


Margaret Woodruff is being inducted into our Rotary club today. Margaret is the director of the Charlotte Library. She became aware of Rotary through our book donations and our work around town. Chris Davis extended an invitation and she decided to join.

Margaret has been the director of the library for 10 years, and was the children’s librarian before that. She lives in east Charlotte with her husband, and has three grown daughters. 


Margaret was the lead in the development and distribution of the Charlotte Resiliency Study which is going to be great planning tool for our town. There were many comments about the library and how great it is. 


Lots of Rotarians came out on Sunday to celebrate Sam’s birthday with a wonderful car parade. Happy Birthday Sam!


News from Honduras- a lot of people have been admitted to the hospital with COVID but we’ve helped over 2000 people with food and supplies through our Hurricane Help program. 


Our speakers today are Joshua Rooney and Alice Brown, mentoring coordinators for CVSD.

Joshua entered the field of education in 2014. His family started HeartWorks and Renaissance school. He is a 1992 CVU graduate and a 1996 UVM grad. He heads up the mentoring program at CCS.


January was national mentoring month and the program is always in need of more mentors. Between the district there are 160 kids in the mentor program. Kids are from 5th grade to 12th grade. Mentors are friends for the kids. The coordinators get to know mentors and mentees and match them up. Kids are recommended by themselves, teachers, counselors, parents. It’s a school-based program, and in a normal year kids come into the school and work together for an hour. Pairs play games, make food, do crafts, and during COVID pairs are meeting via Zoom. 


For all kids, the more caring adults available to kids the better. There are a myriad of benefits to kids. For kids whose family system is unstable, mentors provide a solid relationship. Kids are dependent on parents and teachers, but their relationship with a mentor is more peer-like and mimics adult relationships they will have later in life with co-workers, friends and professors. Mentors can benefit any kid, regardless of their family setting. Sometimes kids who are doing really well academically can benefit from an adult that doesn’t put any expectations on them and just acts as a caring person in their life.


Kids are struggling right now. The remote connection is tough and school is really a struggle. One kid said he hates everything about school except mentoring and lunch. There are a half dozen kids that moved to the Vermont Learning Academy and they have stayed with their mentors. Their mentor provides a consistent connection in the sanctuary of the mentoring room. It’s a bright spot in their school day and in their world. 


Time commitment is 45 minutes to one hour. 5 to 10 minutes is okay to get the relationship starting. Josh coaches the mentors to go as long as it feels comfortable- the goal is to grow the relationship. It is a constant battle with the teachers because they don’t want the kids to miss class so the coordinators try to have the school miss as little class time as possible. Coordinators are present for the meetings so they occur from 8 am to 4 pm. There’s a little more flexibility for high school kids.


Coordinators meet with prospective mentors and get to know them and match with a student who they will best connect with. 


Currently, male adults are not allowed to meet with female students. Couples can mentor one student in some situations. Community members typically stay in their own towns. 

You can contact Josh and Alice at: 802 355-6333 802 734-9845


We’ll be donating Think Again by Adam Grant to the Pierson Library and the Charlotte Library.


Nancy Danforth has our closing words by Eleanora Duse

If the sight of blue skies fills you with joy

If a blade of grass springing up in the fields has power to move you, if the simple things of nature have a message that you understand, rejoice, for your soul is alive. 


Have a great week! Stay safe out there!!