February 2021

Checking the pulse:
We recently spent time with every superintendent and most principals in the schools where BTO is present. Each one expressed their deep gratitude for the great community support of BTO. They shared their hearts for the varying needs of many students and families as well as teachers in our communities during these challenging times. We were deeply touched by their tenacious creativity in meeting those needs!

Here are some of the challenges being faced:
  • Pandemic "fatigue", being weary of everything covid related is universal.
  • Teachers and students alike experience stress with online learning.
  • More students are suffering from depression!
  • Suicidal ideation has risen within the student population.
  • Many "good" students are now "failing".
  • Many students carry extra family responsibilities while parents work.
  • Teachers can struggle with isolation, needing support and connection too.

Please thank Everyone who works in your local schools for their community service as "frontline" workers!

A supportive community is so valuable!
We are often thanked by school staff, students, parents and community leaders, for the BTO Programs. However, it is your investment of time and finances that makes it happen. This letter from NVSD Superintendent Mark Johnson explains why your investment makes all the difference!

Back to School in February!
Student's in middle and high school are now back in school in every school district we serve! The hybrid models vary, but students are expressing gratitude to be back in the classroom interacting in person. New mentoring matches will now be possible on several campuses. Some students and their mentors are getting to see each other in person for the first time in a year since schools closed! Each week, the number of students seeing their mentor in person increases!

Thank you!

Please read on for community program financial status
Thanks to everyone who participated by purchasing!
The wine and charcuterie boxes were fabulous!

Please continue to support these local businesses who support Be the One
in our schools!
A handful of mentors are regularly sending emails to their student mentee with no responses back. These mentors know that their mentee reads them, so they continue to send out weekly or bi-weekly messages. There was a higher volume of email activity from our mentees during the first week after winter break. My theory is that winter break gave the students a much-needed break from their screens. All their schoolwork is online and their lectures are over Zoom. Students said statements such as, “sorry I haven’t responded in a while” or “I haven’t had much energy…” 
We have accomplished so much together! Please join us in standing in the gap for our local youth as we continue to raise funds.
For more information on how you can support BTO mentoring in Ferndale
Contact: Scott & Anita Locker BTOFerndale@partnersforschools.org
Another mentor student pair from last year finally have an appointment to meet in person this next week. They have had some email and snail mail exchanges in the past few months, but really wanted to get together in person. We now have a date that works and the student now can drive, so transportation isn’t a barrier.  The mentor messaged: “Tell her I am excited to FINALLY see her!” The student messaged: “I am so excited, too!” ...

In January, students went back to a hybrid schedule. This provided new opportunities to engage with more students for the program. 21 out of 22 mentoring pairs are now meeting in-person and I have even made some new matches in recent weeks. Also, mentor trainings are happening and we will be putting on our first mentor orientation this next month. Finally, these encouraging things help it feel like we are moving again...

For more information on how you can support BTO mentoring in Lynden 
Contact: Denny & Nancy McHarness BTOLynden@partnersforschools.org
One match at a time, BTO at LCHS, continues to grow! When I started this job in August I really wasn’t sure what to expect, but I am consistently encouraged by the excitement of the LC staff and community. I am excited to get to know each student who walks through my door and grateful to each mentor who is willing to volunteer their time.  I was able to make yet another match this month....

We are so grateful we are off to such a great start this year despite the obvious challenges. We would love to have you join us as we look forward to many more students enjoying time with their mentor!
For more information on how you can support BTO mentoring at Lynden Christian
Contact: Jerry & Joyce Libolt
Following the Student Voices mentor training, a NV mentor connected with a mentor from another school district and shared ideas and experiences.

It has been wonderful to hear about how students grow through the mentoring relationships already facilitated with our part-time program! Please consider joining us as our community reaches for funds to expand capacity and reach more students through a full-time program.
For more information on how you can support BTO in Nooksack Valley
Contact: Chuck & Leeann Handy

Denny & Nancy McHarness
Co-Founders, Partners for Schools
Be the One | BetheOneToday.org