What is Lunch Pals?Lunch Pals is a lunch time mentoring program where businesses, community organizations and individuals are paired with a school to provide students with the additional presence of caring adults.Please let us know your individual volunteer or partnership interests. We will be happy to connect with you about getting involved!I am interested in becoming a Business or Community Partner
Lunch Pals - Questions and AnswersWho are the students, and how are they identified?Each student is identified by school personnel as a child who could especially benefit from a mentoring relationship. Sometimes they are facing social, family and/or academic challenges, or are just at a point in their lives where they will especially benefit from an additional positive and encouraging adult who spends time with them.Do parents or guardians know their students have mentors?Parents are informed by school personnel to assure they are in favor of their student having this opportunity.How and when does mentoring happen?Each mentor meets one-to-one with their assigned student for 30 minutes during the student’s lunch time on a designated day each week. Mentors only meet with students on school grounds when school is in session. There is no contact (in person, by phone, text or email) with the students outside of the school at any time. There is no contact with the parent or guardian of the student.What is the process for getting started?Application and Orientation
- Attend a 1½ hour mentor orientation session where the volunteer application is completed and a copy of a government issued identification (such as a driver’s license) is provided. A Level I background check is run by Pinellas County Schools at no cost to volunteers.
- The school is identified based on the volunteer’s preference. Once the application and orientation is complete, school staff pairs the mentor with a student and set a mutually agreed upon day of the week and time for the student and volunteer to meet.
- School staff orients the volunteer to all procedures, including signing in and out at the school’s front office, recording volunteer hours, where and how to meet with the student, and facilitates a first meeting.
What are the ongoing procedures?
- Once established, the expectation is that the volunteers are committed to meet with their students on the scheduled day and time each week for the school year.
- If a volunteer cannot attend on the scheduled day, they contact the Family & Community Liaison and if possible, arrange to meet with their student on a different day that week. (It is understood that there may be an occasion when the volunteer will miss a meeting.)
- The Family & Community Liaison will contact the volunteer if their student will not be in school.
What kind of feedback and results will mentors receive? Periodic newsletters and reports on how the program is progressing will be emailed to provide updates and resources.What are the benefits of involvement?You are making a difference to a student through a lasting and impactful contribution of your time, and it’s fun!Office of Strategic Partnerships, Family & Community RelationsPinellas County Schools, 301 Fourth Street S.W., Largo, FL 33779-2942Lunch Pals is a partnership between Pinellas County Schools and Raymond James, with the participation from more than 130 businesses and community organizations.