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Mentor a Child, Change a Life


They say it takes a village to raise a child. At the Racine Unified School District, we know the importance of raising Racine, together.

That’s why we offer mentorship opportunities for our students at every grade level through a program called Mentor RUSD. In its 10th year, Mentor RUSD has increased student self-confidence, self-esteem and drive. Additionally, studies show that behavior, attitudes and relationships improve when a youth has a mentor.

Who are these mentors? They are members of the Racine community. They are caring adults whose friendship and support can help children to do better in school, to stay out of trouble, and to learn better ways to handle their problems. Mentors are screened and certified through the Racine Unified School District’s WINGS system, trained and then matched with students in RUSD by the mentor coordinator.

What is mentoring?

Mentoring takes many forms. It can be helping with school work, talking about goals or working on a fun and interesting game or puzzle. Mentoring can also look like reading together, sharing a hobby or maybe even just a time to talk about “stuff.” The most important thing is to build a trusting and supportive relationship. Mentoring provides another positive role model for students, some of whom face significant challenges. Ideally, our mentoring model will devote half of the time to academics and half toward building a positive relationship with the student through various activities.

When does mentoring take place?

Mentors meet with students for one hour, one day a week and take place at the student’s school. The time and day depend on the mentee and mentor’s schedules. Most of the schools have Lighted Schoolhouse or AfterZone programs both before and after school, which is time we can also use. There may also be time available during the school day, as arranged with the teacher.

We know we can’t do it alone. Our student’s need the whole community to get behind them, to help them, guide them and have fun with them through their young years. Becoming a mentor has the potential to change not just one life, but two. The skills, knowledge and personality that you bring to the match will have a lasting effect in the life of a child.

If you are interested in becoming a mentor, visit or email Curtis Woods at