United Way Seeking Mentors for Lunch Buddies Program

Updated: January 15, 2020 07:48 PM

Lunch is something most of us look forward to. And now, it could be even more impactful for students in Hibbing, as the Lunch Buddies program looks to take off.


"It's going to be one-on-one with our first graders, something really special," shared BJ Berg, principal at Washington Elementary. 

Spearheaded by the United Way of Northeast MN, the program will pair up 1st grade kids and mentors once a week. The two schools that are part of the pilot project are Greenhaven and Washington.

They are looking for 20 mentors. "Getting mentors is the most important piece of the success of this program," explained Shelley Valentini, executive director of the United Way of NE Minnesota. 

The actual mentoring is expected to begin in March and run through May. Don't worry about experience. All you need is a love of kids. "It's absolutely life changing," shared Sarah Gardeski, Education and Childhood Programs Specialist who will be coordinating the mentors. She has coached before, and said working with kids impacts you forever. "It's the most rewarding thing I've ever done."

Berg can't wait to see more role models walk through the door. "Studies show one positive adult role model in life that kids can connect with outside the home can make such a difference. We are excited to partner with the United Way."

The hope is to expand the program, which will start the mentoring in March and run through May.

You can apply online:

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