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ERIC Number: EJ783381
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007
Pages: 5
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 20
ISSN: ISSN-0009-4056
Mentoring Young Children: Impact on College Students
Trepanier-Street, Mary
Childhood Education, v84 n1 p15 Fall 2007
Current theory on mentoring describes the process as a mutual learning relationship in which both the mentor and the mentee gain knowledge. Many research studies have supported the benefits of mentoring programs for at-risk elementary school children. One particularly interesting mentoring project with preschool children is Jumpstart, a national mentoring project that pairs a college student with an at-risk child. Participation in Jumpstart can help at-risk preschool children achieve academic success. While the college student mentor is not the child's classroom teacher, the mentor works with the child in a teacher-like position in two-hour, twice-weekly sessions, conducting developmentally appropriate activities with the child to build language, literacy, initiative, and social skills. In addition, each college mentor works in the child's classroom for 2 four-hour sessions per week, assisting the preschool teacher and other children in the classroom. College students work with the children throughout the school year for about a total of 300 hours, 25 of which include service in the community, such as helping at family and community events or making materials for the classroom or school. An evaluation of the Jumpstart Program reported that the children enrolled in Jumpstart initially scored significantly lower than the non-Jumpstart children on all three subscales of the School Success Checklist, a modified version of the Child Observation Record. By the end of the year, however, the gains achieved by Jumpstart children on the language/literacy, social, and initiative subscales were significantly greater than for those of the non-Jumpstart children. While much research has supported the benefits of mentoring for the at-risk child, little research has investigated the benefits of mentoring for the adult mentor. This article summarizes a national research study conducted with college student mentors participating in the Jumpstart mentoring program. The research provides evidence that the mentor benefits both personally and professionally from the mentoring relationship. As a result of working with young children, mentors increased their knowledge and understanding of children's development and of developmentally appropriate education practices. This research can provide insight into the benefits of field experiences for preservice and inservice teachers and has implications for teacher preparation programs.
Association for Childhood Education International. 17904 Georgia Avenue Suite 215, Olney, MD 20832. Tel: 800-423-3563; Tel: 301-570-2111; Fax: 301-570-2212; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Early Childhood Education; Elementary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A