U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

School-Based One-on-One Mentoring K-8

NCJ Number
Date Published
April 2020
4 pages
This paper discusses the rationale, features, and implementation of a model for group mentoring that may be applied for school-based group mentoring programs for grades K-8.
Group mentoring is rapidly becoming one of the most common mentoring programmatic approaches, with the 2016 National Mentoring Program Survey reporting that 35 percent of mentoring programs use a group model. Group mentoring programs are often developed and implemented for pragmatic reasons, i.e., there may be many youth who need mentors and relatively few available mentors, and program developers may assume that a group program will be more cost-effective than a one-to-one program. Exposure to multiple layers of relationships is perhaps the most unique feature of group mentoring. Regarding program characteristics and practices, initial considerations include determining what resources are available, including material resources (e.g., money and space); support staff; necessary partnerships within the school, the district, and the community; a clearly defined target population; and clearly defined practices for recruitment and retention of students and mentors, as well as processes for creating groups. Another initial consideration is an understanding of the reason for creating groups for mentoring. For logistical reasons, group mentoring programs are typically site-based and activity-focused. This require adequate space for groups to meet comfortably. In implementing group programs, there should be a focus on ensuring that mentors have sufficient training and comfort with group dynamics and have sufficient resources for addressing challenging situations, such as group conflict. Having clear goals, having a plan for how to reach those goals, and maintaining fidelity to the program model are keys to an effective program.

Date Published: April 1, 2020