It takes one person to make a difference in the life of a child.

By sharing fun activities and exposing a child to new experiences, mentors encourage positive choices, promote high self-esteem, support academic achievement and introduce their mentee to new ideas.
Clarke County Mentor Program
  Clarke County Mentor Program Newsletter
January, 2012

Mentor/Mentee Winter Carnival
Sponsored by Kaiser Permanente

Sunday, January 22, 2012,
1:00-3:00 PM
Barrow Elementary School Gym

Games, contests, Zumba, giveaways, displays about healthy eating / staying active and more!

RSVP by Jan. 19

Fundraising Breakfast
Thursday, January 26, 7:30 AM Holiday Inn

Donations, pledges and sponsorships accepted.

RSVP by Jan. 20


Mentoring Superstar: U.S. Department of Agriculture (Food Safety & Inspection Service and Agricultural Research Service)

For the past decade, Athens’ USDA branch has had a close partnership with Fowler Drive Elementary School, including giving presentations to classes, sponsoring clubs and field trips to USDA labs, helping at field days, career fairs and science/math nights, one-to-one mentoring and more. Key developers of this partnership were: Pat McCaskey, the (retired) Senior Executive Associate for Laboratory Services; Debbie Perry, Program Specialist; and Marie Babcock, a reading teacher and the Mentor Program’s School Contact Person at Fowler.

Left: Sandra Eason & Dr. Jeanetta Tankson at Field Day, Right: Beverly Barnett and mentee.

At any given time, several dozen USDA employees are active mentors, making regular visits to see their mentees at school. According to Ms. Babcock, “When I began teaching reading in the Clarke County School District ten years ago, I was concerned about the limited experiences of some of the students, which made it more difficult for them to comprehend and enjoy stories that included words such as ‘scientist, stream and skyscraper’. I had a friend, Dr. Lynda Kelley, Senior Advisor, Food Defense, working at the USDA, and together we came up with the idea of a possible work/school partnership. The rest is history. Two planted the seed; hundreds have made and continue to make this partnership successful.”

What makes the partnership work? Employees receive release time to volunteer and are welcomed with open arms at Fowler. USDA receives employees with higher morale and shared purpose. Clarke County students receive individual attention from another interested adult, one who may be able to open their eyes to the world of science. As Dr. McCaskey says, “It was truly a group project with many others being the key to the success of the program. I just gave folks the freedom to give of themselves. All kids deserve a fair chance in life. I know the efforts put forth by the dedicated, caring individuals in the mentoring program will make a difference in the lives of many of the children they touch.”


How Can Your Business Support Mentoring?

Mentoring is one way to help our community’s young people be prepared to take their place in the workforce. There are lots of ways you can support your employees who are mentors, as well as encouraging more employees to become mentors:

  1. Start meetings by recognizing employees who are currently mentoring.
  2. Profile mentors in internal and external publications.
  3. Promote National Thank Your Mentor Day (1/26/12); ask employees to write a sentence about the person who mentored them.
  4. Set up a mentor information/recruitment session at your workplace.
  5. Consider implementing a policy of Paid Time Off for employees who mentor.

Adapted from materials developed by the Mentoring Partnership of Minnesota. For more ideas and assistance, contact 706-353-2288 or

National Thank Your Mentor Day

Thursday, January 26, 2012 is Thank Your Mentor Day. The website “Who Mentored You?” has suggestions about how to do so. You can also read first-person accounts of the importance of mentors in the lives of well-known people such as Colin Powell, Clint Eastwood, Oprah Winfrey, Usher, Edward-James Olmos, Cal Ripken, Maya Angelou and John Glenn.

What Do Mentees Say About Their Mentors?

Marlene Bryan has been a mentor with CCMP since 1993. For the past 5 years, she has been mentoring sisters Imelda and Victoria, shown here (along with their younger brother) on their way to a UGA basketball game. About their mentor, the sisters say: “ We have spent years together ever since I was in elementary school and now I’m in high school. She has taught me to do my best in school, even when I have to struggle, and to never give up. She is always there to give me good advice and to have fun.” “We go to the movies and celebrate Christmas together. She tells me about her life and gives examples of what to do in life. She has taught me to be good in school and a good person.”

Marlene Bryan & mentees

The following people inspired others to give to the Clarke County Mentor Program in their honor:
Janey Cooley, Marla Lee, Lindsay Lunday, Alison McCullick, Nancy McDuff, Joe Turnell and the UGA Admissions staff

Thanks to Our Sponsors

The Adsmith
Tom and Karen Annexstad & the Annexstad Family Foundation
Athens Area Chamber of Commerce
Athens Regional Health Services
Bell’s Food Store
Ed Benson
Emmanuel Episcopal Church
Cook, Noell, Tolley & Bates LLP
Fire and Flavor
Frances Wood Wilson Foundation
Georgia Power

Jackson EMC Operation Round Up
Kaiser Permanente
Tom & Edwina Johnson Foundation
Junior League of Athens
Publix Super Markets Charities
Sentry Self Storage
St. Mary’s Heath Care System
Trinity Accounting Group
Walton EMC Operation Round Up
Young Professionals Network

Athens First Bank & Trust Co.
Carson Advisory Inc.
Charles J. Carter, D.D.S.
Community Water Management

Heyward Allen Cadillac Buick
GMC Toyota Scion

National Bank of Georgia
Ron & Lisa Brill Charitable Trust
Wells Fargo

It takes one person to make a difference in
the life of a child. Be that person.

  Clarke County Mentor Program

Quick Facts

Our program recruits and trains volunteers to serve as mentors to students in all of our public schools, K-12 grade. They function primarily as friends. We ask for a minimum of one hour per week for one school year, with the opportunity to continue for multiple years.