Do You Have Just 30 Extra Minutes Each Week?

Angela Walsh encourages her mentees’ interests – whether it's flags of other nations or learning sign language. Since being matched in January with two different children, she and her mentees have been busy learning more about each other and the world.
Walsh, a retired teacher, taught Spanish, most recently at St. Joseph Elementary School in Crescent Springs. Even though she’s retired, Walsh knew she wanted to stay involved with children. That’s when she decided to become a mentor – serving as a Lunch Buddy at John G. Carlisle Elementary School.

“I miss being in the classroom and interacting with kids every day,” she said. “So now I look forward to seeing both of my Lunch Buddy girls each week. One is a third grader and one is a fifth grader and their interests are varied, so it’s fun to see what they choose to do each week.”

The fifth grader, Jessica, is the one interested in flags and sign language.

“Jessica’s family is from Guatemala so she had asked me to draw the Guatemalan flag for her so she could color it,” Walsh said. “Then that expanded into several other Spanish-speaking countries. We look them up on my phone. I draw them and she colors them and takes them home.”

The two are learning sign language because of Jessica’s curiosity. She already was learning some letters and wanted to know more. Coincidentally, Walsh’s daughter is a sign language interpreter, so she gathered up resources and the two have tried to learn a little each week.

Natalie Westkamp, who oversees the Covington Partners Mentoring Program in Covington’s elementary schools, said Walsh is a very caring person who loves connecting with both students through their interests. Jessica was quiet in the beginning, but now has opened up more. The two expect to continue as a mentoring pair when the girl transitions to Holmes Middle School next year. Walsh also plans on continuing as a Lunch Buddy to Keila, the younger student.

“I would encourage anyone with a free 30 minutes each week to become a Lunch Buddy,” she said. “It is such a fun and rewarding experience, and the kids really benefit from the one-on-one time.”

If you are interested in becoming a mentor to a student in Covington, click HERE to learn more.

Category: Mentoring
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