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Around 80 adult mentors and youth mentees from the Grand Isle County Mentoring Program traveled to Burlington by bus to attend Community Science Night for Mentoring at the ECHO Science Center and Lake Aquarium.

Around 80 adult mentors and youth mentees from the Grand Isle County Mentoring Program traveled to Burlington by bus to attend Community Science Night for Mentoring at the ECHO Science Center.

On Wednesday, March 11, the ECHO Lake Aquarium and Science Center was open after-hours for a special mentoring event! From giant chess to movies about aquatic life to hands-on demonstrations led by ECHO’s student leadership team of educators (the E-Team) to free pizza, Community Science Night provided something for each of the nearly 200 adult mentors and youth mentees who attended to enjoy. The event was sponsored by Mobius and the ECHO Open Door Program, and was attended by mentoring programs from Chittenden, Franklin, and Grand Isle counties that are a part of the Chittenden County Mentoring Network.

For more about the event, read these recent news articles:
Burlington Free PressMentors and Youth Mentees in ECHO Spotlight
Lake Champlain IslanderECHO Hosted Local Mentors for Celebration of Mentoring
The Other PaperCommunity Science Night Celebrates Mentoring (turn to page 6!)
The CitizenECHO Hosts Mentor Pairs for Community Science Night
The Essex ReporterNearly 200 Adult Mentors and Youth Mentees Gather for Community Science Night

Spectrum mentor Dan Evans and his mentee Andrew explore a science exhibit together.

Spectrum mentor Dan Evans and his mentee Andrew explore a science exhibit together.

For many of the pairs in attendance, including Spectrum Mentoring pair Dan Davis and Andrew, group events like this one were a welcome addition to their normal one-on-one mentoring meetings. “It was nice to spend some time with [Andrew] doing something else, exploring the exhibits at Echo and especially playing some of the games,” said Dan. “I look forward to more events like that one.”

The “games” Dan mentioned were a part of the current featured exhibit, “Playing Together: Games.” In addition to the giant chess board, which was a huge hit, the exhibit also featured Nine Men’s Morris, Boc-Tin, Senet, Mancala, and Hop-Scotch, to name a few.

Community Science Night was also a time for ECHO’s student-led E-Team to shine, and share their scientific knowledge with youngsters and elders alike. The E-Team, made up of high school students from Chittenden County, led hands-on demonstrations and manned exhibits throughout the night, treating mentors and mentees to an experience that was both fun and educational.

Noella Krakowski, Science Education Specialist at ECHO, works with the E-Team throughout the year, and supervised their coordination of the event. “We are proud to have this partnership with the local mentoring community and were honored to host this event for them,” said Noella. “For the E-Team, Community Science Night gives them the opportunity to showcase the skills they have been developing through our program. It is amazing to see their knowledge in science grow and to watch how they share that knowledge with the public.”

Mentors and mentees from the King Street Center's Junior Senior Buddies mentoring program.

Mentors and mentees from the King Street Center’s Junior Senior Buddies mentoring program.

While the science and games were the highlights of the event, for some just the opportunity to spend time together and share a meal was special too. “It was such a wonderful event,” said King Street Center mentor Julie Elitzer, who came to Community Science Night with her third-grade mentee Amarre. “We enjoyed the pizza, and it gave us a nice time to connect about what had gone on in our week. Then being able to have such a great adventure at the Echo Center was fabulous.” The food at the event was catered by the Burlington Food Service.

In addition to mentors and mentees, two staff members from the Vermont offices of Senators Leahy and Sanders also made it out to the event. It was a great opportunity for our legislative partners to meet mentors and mentees, and experience mentoring first hand.

This year’s Community Science Night was a huge success, thanks to our amazing partners from ECHO. And their support continues year-round: mentors and mentees receive $2 admission throughout the year through the Mobius Mentor Discount Card. Thank you, ECHO, for all you do to support mentoring in Vermont!

Amy and John, a mentor pair through HowardCenter's Community Friends Mentoring, were selected to throw out the first pitch together at Mentoring Night at Centennial Field.

Amy and John, a mentor pair through HowardCenter’s Community Friends Mentoring, were selected to throw out the first pitch together at Mentoring Night at Centennial Field.

What better way to celebrate summer than by taking in a baseball game with a special friend? Earlier this month, the Vermont Lake Monsters hosted nearly 50 volunteer mentors and their mentees for Mentoring Night at Centennial Field in Burlington. Tickets were provided by the Lake Monsters, and the event was co-sponsored by the Chittenden County Mentoring Network and Mobius.

Mentor pairs from eight different programs were treated to free admission, and HowardCenter Community Friends mentor Amy Spector and her eight-year-old mentee John Tatro threw out the first pitch together.

Deborah and Hailey, a mentor pair through the Mentor Connector.

“Throwing out the first pitch was so exciting for us,” said Amy. “Seeing John on the pitcher’s mound was the highlight of my summer…and he threw a perfect strike!”

While many of the mentor pairs came from neighboring towns, mentors and mentees travelled from as far south as Rutland County to join the festivities.  Deborah Campanelli, a mentor through the Mentor Connector, made the trip to Burlington with her 11-year-old mentee Hailey McLaughlin, a student at Fair Haven Grade School.

“We thoroughly enjoyed the game, although the Lake Monsters lost,” said Deborah. “Hailey and I have been together for a short time, but have been swimming, and visited the Rutland County Humane Society and donated bedding for the animals. We are excited about all the things we plan to do together.”

Spectrum Mobius Vermont Lake Monsters Mentoring Night

Despite a brief rain shower, Spectrum pair Jay and Joey had a fun night at the ballpark.

Other longer term matches in attendance included Jay Dietrich and his 17-year-old mentee Joey Bell from Spectrum Mentoring.

“Joey and I really enjoy the events that Mobius arranges for mentors and mentees,” said Jay.  “We were able to enjoy a fun evening watching an exciting game and spend time talking about important and trivial items.”

Fellow mentor Nancy Colbourn concurred: “We had a great time at the game. While we enjoy doing things just the two of us, we also like to participate in events with other mentors/mentees.  It’s fun to meet up with other pairs a few times a year.”

Nancy and Garrett from HowardCenter's Community Friends Mentoring.

Nancy and Garrett from HowardCenter’s Community Friends Mentoring.

 

Nancy has been matched with her mentee, Garrett, for nearly six years, first through Connecting Youth Mentoring at Williston Central School, and more recently through Community Friends.

Katie Miller, the coordinator of Milton Mentors!, found the event to be a “home run” for everyone involved, program staff, mentors, and mentees alike:  “It was inspiring to see a group of people coming together that all support and participate in mentoring!”

 

A pair of Milton Mentors! pairs: mentee Tiana and her mentor Lisa Bongiorno, and mentor Katie Miller and her mentee Lydia.

A pair of Milton Mentors! pairs: mentee Tiana and her mentor Lisa Bongiorno, and mentor Katie Miller and her mentee Lydia.

*Are you a current mentor who enjoys baseball but couldn’t make it that night? Email Benji@mobiusmentors.org to find out how you and your mentee can get a pair of tickets for a Lake Monsters game of your choice (supplies are limited, so let us know ASAP).

For more information and photos from the event, we encourage you to check out our Facebook album.