Operation MENTOR/Handprints on Hearts

  • Operation MENTOR, which stands for Mentoring, Encouraging, Nurturing, Tutoring ,Offering and Reading, was created in 1997 to help increase the well being of the children at Barbara Bush Elementary. The idea was to create a mentoring program where people could come and volunteer their time, all the while making a difference in our children’s lives. Countless hours were given to this program by parents, community members, Gail Mancuso, the SGP Student Empowerment Team, and the teachers and staff at Barbara Bush. When I went to Sam Houston in 2006 the staff and community embraced OM and only continued through the district mentoring program Handprints on Hearts and more than 130 people have mentored since! We hope you will consider becoming a mentor here at Hobbs Williams. We promise you will be glad you did!

    Operation MENTOR/Handprint on Hearts pairs adult volunteers with students in the Kindergarten through Fourth grade. Volunteers can play games, have lunch, tutor, read with, or just visit with their buddy. Students are chosen by referral from teachers, staff, and parents. Volunteers are asked to spend thirty minutes of their time once a week and a criminal background check is required.

    Ways to volunteer:

    Many children just need time to sit, talk, and visit with someone. Each teacher has a list of students he/she would like to participate. You will be paired with your buddy according to the time you request a volunteer and your preference. This is a great time to play a board game or draw a picture with your buddy. Just that one on one time can make a world of difference to the child.

    This program is designed where the volunteer and buddy can spend lunch together visiting. Volunteers come once a week with their sack lunch or they are welcome to buy a school lunch here. (Just let the teacher know!)Lunch is thirty minutes and during that time the volunteer and buddy can sit outside or at the child’s assigned classroom table.

    Students love to “shine” while reading a book to someone! Using this time to listen to them share a book with you is important. Volunteers can choose a book from the volunteer box or read from the book box or bag the child may bring from his/her class. You can read outside, in the cafeteria, in the library or wherever you can find a quiet place!