Oakland Elementary sees positive results from new mentorship program for troubled students

OAKLAND, Ky. – Warren County Public School’s Oakland Elementary is going out of its way to provide trustworthy leaders for their kids in need this Spring… and their new Big Brothers Big Sisters type mentorship is already changing lives.

Family Resource Coordinator Sarah Carnes handpicked big-hearted mentors from across the community to share lunch with select students who’ve had a history of write-ups, multiple office referrals, or misbehavior in the classroom.

“They can have different conversations about grades, school work, building healthy relationships, healthy friendships,” shared Carnes. “They trust these outside adults that they have built this relationship with as someone who is a safe space and someone who cares for them and that they can take these concerns to.”

Community Cardinal Dale Goatley recalled, “When they approached me about this opportunity, I jumped right on it and I was thinking how this is something I wish I had when I was a child, and so I wanted to give back in that way.”

Sixth-grade student Aunesty Moore is one of Oakland Elementary’s nine participants who’s met with her Community Cardinal once a week all semester.

Aunesty’s mentor Anita Sandidge said, “When I met Aunesty, I immediately fell in love with her. She’s so sweet.”

Sandidge hopes to squeeze in a little more love and a few more life lessons before Aunesty heads off to middle school.

“I hope that I can instill in her that she needs to make smart decisions not only socially, but academically. The sky’s the limit.”

The school has already seen positive improvement, reporting fewer write-ups and behavioral issues since the kids started the program.

“The kids are so excited about it,” told Carnes. “They stop me in the hallway all the time to say, ‘Is my mentor coming today,’ or ‘Are they’re coming this week?’”

Carnes hopes to grow the program next semester by recruiting more volunteers.