Cobb Mentoring Matters (CMM) the District’s school-based mentoring program, is excited to be working with several churches in Cobb County. CMM is in its 3rd year of operation recruiting, screening and placing mentors in Cobb schools, with the caliber of mentors exceeding expectations. Dr. Marvin Bynes, Principal at Austell Elementary School, was approached by the First Baptist Church of Austell requesting to provide mentors in the school. The church had a group of eight members who were initially trained through Kids Hope USA, a national faith-based organization that seeks to develop one-on-one relationships, through the creation of church-school partnerships, which pair church members with at-risk kids in supportive, mentoring relationships. Dr. Bynes requested that they go through CMM as the principles of Kids Hope USA were a perfect fit with Cobb Mentoring Matters.
CMM worked with the church leaders and provided additional training and orientation to the volunteers to ensure compliance with CMM district policies and procedures. The CMM Mentor Coordinator collaborated with the teachers and parents to identify the students, and coordinate the logistics for a smooth matching process. A group match was conducted in the schools Media Center in October, with some very excited students in grades K-4.
Other churches to “Join the Movement” have been, HopeBridge Fellowship Church in North Cobb. They were matched with students at Blackwell Elementary School. Faith United Methodist Church of Smyrna joined with King Springs Elementary School, New Friendship Missionary Baptist Church, working at Tapp Middle School and Lutheran Church of the Resurrection at Wheeler High School. What is just as exciting is that the pastors of several of these churches have set the example for their congregants and were matched themselves with our students.