Mentoring Tips: Communicating over Summer Vacation

Power 4 Youth has been extremely successful in making matches to last throughout the academic year. But what happens in the summer months, when school is out and mentors and mentees are busy taking trips with their family and friends?

Summer months are often seen as slack months; a time when students can binge watch on Netflix and play video games for hours in lieu of reading a book or taking up a new hobby.

The phenomenon known as the “summer learning loss” is real, as youth have a tendency to experience regression as they spend an extended period of time away from the classroom. And for youth who are involved in mentoring programs, it has been found that they are more susceptible to regression1.

In order to maintain a good relationship and keep the match “alive” and healthy during the summer, remember that communication key. But, don’t feel pressured to constantly check on your mentee. Time apart is good and healthy for the both of you.

We encourage pairs to take a “vacation” from mentoring over the summer. Not keeping in touch for a few weeks does not mean they you won’t re-connect when school starts–and, in fact, it may make re-connecting that much more interesting and fun!

For those who would like to reach out to your mentee, even just to say hi, there are other ways you can communicate aside from a text or a call.

So what are some ways you can keep in touch with your mentee over the summer?

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    Postcards/Snail Mail: Tell your mentee what you’ve been up to, where you’ve been, the places you’ve visited, and encourage them to do the same.

  • Emails: Even when you’re crunched for time or money with all the summer activities you have planned, send them a quick email to let them know you’re thinking of them.