Ready to Go: Mentor Training Toolkit: Introduction-PDF (4H1642intro)

The toolkit is designed to assist youth mentoring programs in training new and existing mentors and other volunteers working with young people. This unit provides information on using the curriculum in a variety of settings.

In 2009, while training staff to train mentors, we realized Michigan State University Extension lacked existing processes to help new mentoring staff and AmeriCorps members gain skills and resources for mentor training. Our mentoring curriculum project team completed a literature review of current training materials in mentoring and found a lack of hands-on mentoring training tools. As a result, we created Ready to Go: Mentor Training Toolkit to provide mentoring professionals with a customizable mentor training curriculum, support for using the curriculum and a toolkit to ensure that all mentors in planned youth mentoring programs have access to evidence-based training.

The team studied the latest mentoring research, and based on that research, divided materials into focus areas: cultural competency, communication, youth development, and relationship building and boundaries.

Initially, we targeted Extension professionals with mentoring responsibilities as writers for new activities and module background sections. As the project grew, we recruited partners from other organizations to write activities based on their expertise in areas in which the team identified unmet curriculum needs.

As writers submitted activities and module background sections and we reviewed them internally, we piloted them at professional development trainings throughout 2010 and 2011. We recruited pilot sites through a variety of means, making efforts to engage training groups that used a variety of program models, showed variety in the number of mentors trained at one time and included diverse populations.

As we conducted pilots, project staff members gave activities a final review and sent them to the peer review team for closer critique. Peer reviewers consisted of mentoring and other youth development professionals with content area expertise in training topics specific to the activities they reviewed.

We submitted the curriculum for editing and design, and after a final review, we completed and published the curriculum in October 2012. The Youth Development module was slightly modified in 2014.

We hope this curriculum will meet the needs of mentoring professionals and other professionals who train volunteers to work with young people.

Lisa Bottomley
Project Director
Ready to Go: Mentor Training Toolkit

How to Use This Curriculum

Welcome to Ready to Go: Mentor Training Toolkit, developed by the Michigan 4-H Youth Mentoring initiative through Michigan 4-H Youth Development. This curriculum assists mentoring programs in the training of new and existing mentors with a highly customizable menu of training activities that can be used to tailor trainings to the specific needs of the program.

Mentoring programs may use the activities to train mentors in community and site-based programs and in programs using group or individual mentoring with adult or peer mentors. Designed to be flexible, the activities often suggest variations on use with special populations or in certain settings.

Research recommends a minimum of 2 hours and ideally 6 or more hours of pre-match mentor training (Rhodes, 2002; DuBois, Holloway, Valentine, & Cooper, 2002). To determine the length of the training programs, develop a list of skills mentors will need to succeed in your program. Sometimes programs screen potential volunteers to ensure they possess some of these skills. The final training should include activities that build the needed skills that are not prerequisites for volunteers.

Modules in this curriculum offer a broad scope of training activities to give mentors the skills needed to succeed in their matches. Each activity gives training facilitators the tools needed to successfully carry out their trainings without the need for supplemental research. All modules include a background section that briefs trainers on the basics of the subject covered in that module as well as details about the activities in the module. After reading through the background section for a module, facilitators will want to select the activities from that module that best serve the needs of their training group.

Ready To Go: Mentoring Toolkit Activity Outlines

Activities follow the following format:

DESCRIPTION:
The description gives a brief summary of the activity.

OBJECTIVES:
A bulleted list of concrete items outlines what the participants will learn by participating in the activity. Objectives may also include learning how to use tools provided in an activity to support issues such as goal planning or problem solving in their matches.

MATERIALS:
All activities contain a list of items a training facilitator will need to successfully use the activity to train mentors. You may accomplish many activities by substituting similar materials if you can’t find those specifically listed in this section. This section will also list handouts needed for the activity.

TIME:
The time listed is the approximate length of time the activity should take if done in full. You can shorten or lengthen many activities depending on the amount of time you need for your group to discuss and process each activity.

SETTING:
Each section provides a suggested location for which this activity is best suited such as a room with tables and chairs for mentors to work at or an open space mentors can easily move around.

AUDIENCE:
This section lists the intended audience as some activities focus on adult mentors, others aim to reach peer mentors and still others involve both.

PROCEDURE:

Before the activity:

This section lists preparations needed to best carry out the activity, beginning with reading the related background section. It will also list tips for arranging the presentation room, preparing any flip chart paper or other visual aids for the training, copying and distributing handouts, and placing basic supplies in the most efficient location for distribution and use during the activity.

During the activity:

Numbered sections in this “During the Activity” segment guide training facilitators through the activity. Each section is broken down into instructions in plain type for the facilitator and bolded and italicized sections he or she reads aloud or paraphrases. Instructions on when to distribute handouts and other materials or when to pause for questions or responses are in plain type and interspersed within the script.

Activities guide participants in the training step by step to an understanding of the concepts introduced or expanded in the training activities. The steps involve hands-on learning. Instead of learning from a facilitator’s lecture, participants learn from conversations and thought processes that contribute to the process of self-discovery of the concepts. The “During the Activity” section is highly detailed to allow first-time training facilitators to confidently tackle training on concepts they may find advanced.

PROCESSING:

Discussion questions:

Training facilitators may want to ask participants these suggested questions to generate discussion and to create opportunities for reflection on the activity and related concepts. The questions may also provide opportunities to think beyond the concepts and apply them to other situations.

Key points:

Facilitators will want to bring these main points up in the discussions as well as use this additional information to highlight important concepts and situations. Key points may also expand on the information presented in the activity, giving those involved in the training the opportunity to think beyond the basic understanding of the principles presented.

Modules and Activities

VARIATIONS:

Variations include adaptations of the activity concerning constraints on time, the needs of special populations, or different mentoring program types and training situations. This section may also describe alternate activity arrangements or ways to adapt the training activity in certain situations as discovered through the initial piloting of the activity.

Facilitators need not present the activities in the order they appear in this curriculum. Activities are grouped by subject in modules. Module subject headings include “Building the Mentoring Relationship,” “Setting Boundaries,” “Communication,” “Youth Development” and “Cultural Competency.” Each module contains a variety of activities to allow programs to choose activities that best serve their needs according to their youth and mentor population.

Activities in the “Building the Mentoring Relationship” module focus on defining the role of a mentor. They prepare mentors for the task of connecting with young people and planning activities with them to meet match needs.

The “Setting Boundaries” module discusses the appropriate boundaries between mentors and mentees. It explores the importance of these boundaries, including boundaries set by programs and by the families of mentees, in keeping both mentors and mentees safe in relationships. Activities also touch on how to recognize when boundaries are crossed and what to do in those instances.

The “Communication” module introduces mentors to basic communication skills as well as tools to allow mentors to more smoothly communicate with mentees and mentees’ families from differing backgrounds. This section also includes activities that teach problem solving skills, goal setting and teamwork.

The “Youth Development” module introduces mentors to the various issues important to young people and communicates how young people develop their skills. Though these skills may not always be academic and adults at school or home may not value them, they still are important to a young person. These in-depth activities tackle subjects such as bullying, exploring youth interests, cultivating safe spaces for youth and thinking through decision making in an age-appropriate way.

“Cultural Competency” training activities touch on issues of difference by helping mentors to acknowledge and appreciate the various backgrounds they may encounter during mentoring. This section also introduces mentors to ways to interact with people different from themselves. It encourages mentors to celebrate differences and acknowledge how differences can be a learning opportunity for both mentor and mentee.

References:

DuBois, D. L., Holloway, B. E., Valentine, J. C. & Cooper, H. (2002). Effectiveness of mentoring programs for youth: A meta-analytic review. American Journal of Community Psychology, 30(2), 157-197.

Rhodes, J. E. (2002). Stand by me: The risks and rewards of mentoring today’s youth. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Sample Training Menus

Sample training menus to use when planning mentor training for specific program models and audiences follow. We recommend that programs hold two or more sessions for training when the training length is more than two hours for peer mentors or more than three hours for adult mentors. Each menu includes extra time for introductions and setting ground rules.

PEER MENTOR TRAINING MENUS:

Audience: Site-based, peer mentors
Time: 2 hours

ACTIVITY

MODULE

TIME

Sweet as Candy

Building the Mentoring Relationship

10 minutes

A Mentor Is, A Mentor Is Not

Building the Mentoring Relationship

20 minutes

Cross the Line

Setting Boundaries

20 minutes

Unseen Artists

Communication

30 minutes

Unbreakable

Youth Development

30 minutes

Audience: Site-based, peer mentors
Time: 4 hours

ACTIVITY

MODULE

TIME

Sweet as Candy

Building the Mentoring Relationship

10 minutes

A Mentor Is, A Mentor Is Not

Building the Mentoring Relationship

20 minutes

Cross the Line

Setting Boundaries

20 minutes

Unseen Artists or Tree Problem Solver

Communication

30 minutes

The Right Stuff

Communication

15 minutes

Cultural Tossup

Cultural Competency

15 minutes

Unbreakable

Youth Development

30 minutes

Peer Pressure Blowup

Youth Development

25 minutes

Step In, Step Up

Youth Development

45 minutes

Positive Me

Youth Development

20 minutes

ADULT MENTOR TRAINING MENUS:

Audience: Site-based mentoring, adult mentors
Time: 3 hours

ACTIVITY

MODULE

TIME

Mentors Are Like…

Building the Mentoring Relationship

30 minutes

Cross the Line

Setting Boundaries

20 minutes

Rules: What Good Are They?

Setting Boundaries

30 minutes

Are You Listening?

Communication

15 minutes

Tree Problem Solver

Communication

35 minutes

What’s It Like to Be a Young Person?

Youth Development

15 minutes

Scrambled Eggs

Youth Development

30 minutes

Audience: Site-based mentoring, adult mentors
Time: 6 hours

ACTIVITY

MODULE

TIME

Sweet as Candy

Building the Mentorship Relationship

15 minutes

Mentor Web

Building the Mentorship Relationship

30 minutes

Mentors Are Like…

Building the Mentorship Relationship

30 minutes

Cross the Line

Setting Boundaries

20 minutes

Rules: What Good Are They?

Setting Boundaries

30 minutes

Are You Listening?

Communication

15 minutes

Tree Problem Solver

Communication

35 minutes

What’s It Like to Be a Young Person?

Youth Development

15 minutes

Scrambled Eggs

Youth Development

30 minutes

Cultural Tossup

Cultural Competency

15 minutes

Beyond the Tip of the Iceberg

Cultural Competency

25 minutes

Mentoring Millennials

Cultural Competency

60 minutes

Audience: Community-based, adult mentors
Time: 3 hours

ACTIVITY

MODULE

TIME

Mentors Are Like…

Building the Mentorship Relationship

30 minutes

Relationships: Where Do They Stand?

Setting Boundaries

15 minutes

Boundaries Brainstorm

Setting Boundaries

40 minutes

Draw Me for Your Leader or I FeelWhenBecause

Communication

15 minutes

What’s It Like to Be a Young Person?

Youth Development

20 minutes

Understand Adultism: Building Positive Youth-Adult Relationships

Youth Development

45 minutes

Audience: Community-based, adult mentors
Time: 6 hours

ACTIVITY

MODULE

TIME

Mentor Web

Building the Mentorship Relationship

40 minutes

Mentors Are Like…

Building the Mentorship Relationship

30 minutes

Reality Check

Building the Mentorship Relationship

40 minutes

Mentoring Activity Planning Tools

Building the Mentorship Relationship

30 minutes

Relationships: Where Do They Stand?

Setting Boundaries

15 minutes

Boundaries Brainstorm

Setting Boundaries

40 minutes

Draw Me for Your Leader

Communication

15 minutes

I FeelWhenBecause

Communication

20 minutes

What’s It Like to Be a Young Person?

Youth Development

20 minutes

Understand Adultism: Building Positive Youth-Adult Relationships

Youth Development

45 minutes

What Do You Value?

Cultural Competency

45 minutes

Audience: Community-based, adult mentors
Time: 9 hours

ACTIVITY

MODULE

TIME

Mentor Web

Building the Mentorship Relationship

40 minutes

Mentors Are Like…

Building the Mentorship Relationship

30 minutes

Mentoring Activity Planning Tools

Building the Mentorship Relationship

30 minutes

Traveling the Relationship Road

Building the Mentorship Relationship

45 minutes

Relationships: Where Do They Stand?

Setting Boundaries

15 minutes

Boundaries Brainstorm

Setting Boundaries

40 minutes

Draw Me for Your Leader

Communication

15 minutes

I FeelWhenBecause

Communication

20 minutes

Are You Listening?

Communication

20 minutes

What’s It Like to Be a Young Person?

Youth Development

20 minutes

Understand Adultism: Building Positive Youth-Adult Relationships

Youth Development

45 minutes

Building a Developmental Assets* Toolbox

Youth Development

45 minutes

What Do You Value?

Cultural Competency

45 minutes

Golden Ticket

Cultural Competency

45 minutes

Audience: Group mentoring, adult mentors
Time: 3 hours

ACTIVITY

MODULE

TIME

Soap and Sugar Adults

Building the Mentoring Relationship

30 minutes

Stormin’ Norman

Building the Mentoring Relationship

30 minutes

Boundaries Brainstorm

Setting Boundaries

40 minutes

Untangled

Communication

20 minutes

Take Your Best Shot

Communication

20 minutes

Unbreakable

Youth Development

30 minutes

Audience: Group mentoring, adult mentors
Time: 6 hours

ACTIVITY

MODULE

TIME

Soap and Sugar Adults

Building the Mentoring Relationship

20 minutes

Stormin’ Norman

Building the Mentoring Relationship

30 minutes

Boundaries Brainstorm

Setting Boundaries

45 minutes

Untangled

Communication

15 minutes

Take Your Best Shot

Communication

15 minutes

Let Your Fingers Do the Talking or Face Time

Communication

40 minutes

Unbreakable

Youth Development

30 minutes

Learning by Doing

Youth Development

30 minutes

Unmasking Life Skills

Youth Development

30 minutes

Leadership Puzzle

Youth Development

35 minutes

Stand for Your Values

Cultural Competency

20 minutes

Beyond the Tip of the Iceberg

Cultural Competency

25 minutes

Audience: Group mentoring, adult mentors
Time: 9 hours

ACTIVITY

MODULE

TIME

Soap and Sugar Adults

Building the Mentoring Relationship

20 minutes

Stormin’ Norman

Building the Mentoring Relationship

30 minutes

Rules: What Good Are They? Or This Is a Test

Setting Boundaries

40 minutes

Boundaries Brainstorm

Setting Boundaries

45 minutes

Untangled

Communication

20 minutes

Are You Listening?

Communication

20 minutes

Take Your Best Shot

Communication

20 minutes

Let Your Fingers Do the Talking or Tree Problem Solver

Communication

35 minutes

Unbreakable

Youth Development

30 minutes

Learning by Doing

Youth Development

30 minutes

Unmasking Life Skills

Youth Development

30 minutes

Leadership Puzzle

Youth Development

40 minutes

What’s in a Name

Cultural Competency

20 minutes

Stand for Your Values

Cultural Competency

20 minutes

Beyond the Tip of the Iceberg

Cultural Competency

25 minutes

Mentoring Millennials

Cultural Competency

65 minutes

In-Service training Menus:

In-service: Generational Differences
Time: 2–2.5 hours

ACTIVITY

MODULE

TIME

Meet My Generation

Cultural Competency

60 minutes

Mentoring Millennials

Cultural Competency

60 minutes

In-service: Cultural Competency
Time: 3–3.5 hours

ACTIVITY

MODULE

TIME

Personal Culture Map

Cultural Competency

50 minutes

Stand for Your Values

Cultural Competency

20 minutes

Moving Beyond Stereotypes

Cultural Competency

50 minutes

Unconventional English

Cultural Competency

60 minutes

In-Service: Setting Boundaries
Time: 2–2.5 hours

ACTIVITY

MODULE

TIME

Pushing the Envelope

Setting Boundaries

15 minutes

Black, White and Shades of Gray

Setting Boundaries

105 minutes

In-Service: College Access/Career Prep
Time: 2–2.5 hours

ACTIVITY

MODULE

TIME

A New Kind of Intelligence

Youth Development

60 minutes

The Path You Traveled

Youth Development

30 minutes

Charting Goals

Youth Development

30 minutes

In-Service: Issues in Technology
Time: 1.5–2 hours

ACTIVITY

MODULE

TIME

Digital Interactions 101

Communication

15 minutes

Who Are You Online?

Setting Boundaries

30 minutes

Step In, Step Up

Youth Development

45 minutes

In-Service: Mentor and Mentees: Getting to Know You
Time: 2–2.25 hours

ACTIVITY

MODULE

TIME

Tower of Questions

Communication

30 minutes

Mentoring Activity Planning Tools

Building the Mentoring Relationship

30 minutes (Use selected tools rather than full activity).

Teaming Up for Service

Youth Development

45 minutes

PLANNING HANDOUT:

Mentor Training and Inservice Checklist

Use this checklist as a guide for planning mentor and staff inservice training sessions. Add sheets as necessary.

2 TO 4 WEEKS BEFORE TRAINING

Date(s): ________________________________ Location: _____________

❒ Make room and space reservations. Reservations made by_____________ on __________________

❒ Confirm presenters, including paid and volunteer staff and outside presenters.

❍ Presenter 1: ________________________________________________________________
❍ Presenter 2: ________________________________________________________________
❍ Presenter 3: ________________________________________________________________

❒ Identify presenter needs for equipment such as computers, screens and flip charts.

❍ Presenter 1 contacted by: ________________________________ on __________________
 Item 1: __________________________________________________________________
 Item 2: __________________________________________________________________
 Item 3: __________________________________________________________________
❍ Presenter 2 contacted by:________________________________ on __________________
 Item 1: __________________________________________________________________
 Item 2: __________________________________________________________________
 Item 3: __________________________________________________________________
❍ Presenter 3 contacted by: ________________________________ on __________________
 Item 1: __________________________________________________________________
 Item 2: __________________________________________________________________
 Item 3: __________________________________________________________________

❒ Send mail or email confirmation to participants including the following:

❍ Date
❍ Time
❍ Location
❍ Directions
❍ Parking
❍ Participant expectations (forms or anything else to bring to the event)
❍ Meal or snacks provided
❍ RSVP contact name, number and email address
❍ RSVP deadline date
❍ Who to contact with questions

❒ Date first participant notification sent __________________. Notified by ________________

❒ Signup sheet created and posted

2 WEEKS BEFORE TRAINING

❒ Inventory training and meal or snack supplies.

❒ Order additional supplies, if needed.

❒ Print handouts and manuals.

❒ Check in with presenters about last-minute needs. If they request additional handouts, arrange to make copies.

WEEK BEFORE TRAINING

❒ Arrange for food and food supplies.
❍ Person who will bring or arrange for food delivery: __________________________________
❍ Menu (consider the needs of vegetarians, people with food allergies and others with special dietary needs)
❍ Disposable napkins, utensils, cups, plates
❍ Beverages
❍ Serving dishes and utensils (including an ice bowl, if necessary)
❍ Ice

❒ Contact participants who haven’t registered by phone. Contacts made by________ on ___________.

❒ Confirm room and room set up. Confirmation made by ____________ on ___________________.

❒ Confirm presenters, including:
❍ Day, date and time of event
❍ Directions to event site
❍ Technical needs
❍ Room layout
❍ Agenda
❍ Time for any program needs and housekeeping details
❍ Number of registered participants
❍ Other important information (registrants with special needs, space limitations, group dynamics, etc.)

❒ Gather supplies, including:
❍ Name tags
❍ Markers
❍ Masking tape
❍ Pens or pencils
❍ Flip charts, newsprint or other large paper
❍ Easels (optional, if newsprint sheets can be taped to walls)
❍ Writing paper
❍ Training manuals
❍ Paperwork (if needed)
❍ Sign-in sheets
❍ Directional signs to meeting building and room

❒ Meet with event staff to clarify expectations and responsibilities.

DAY OF TRAINING

❒ Ensure that the meeting room is clearly marked or signs directing participants to it are posted.

❒ Make sure the meeting room is unlocked.

❒ Confirm delivery of meals, snacks and beverages, if needed.

❒ Set up the registration table.

❒ Set up for any meals or snacks being served.

❒ Check technical equipment.

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