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Bulldog Bark - 10/7/19
Bulldog Bark - 10/7/19
Adriane Todd
Thursday, October 10, 2019

S.M. RIssler Elementary School is proud to continue their Lunch Buddy program during this school year.  This program is an excellent opportunity for adults from all walks of life to make a difference in a child’s life. The Lunch Buddy program works to match positive, consistent adult mentors to elementary aged youth at S.M. Rissler to improve student peer relationships and strengthen positive connections to school. 
A Lunch Buddy volunteer allows a student someone to eat with, someone to talk to, someone to listen to, and someone a child can depend on to be there for them. A Lunch Buddy volunteer dedicates themselves to meet with the child during the student’s lunch hour once every two weeks to help the child gain better relationships with their peers and feel better about their school community. Lunch Buddy volunteers may eat a school lunch or bring one of their own. Lunch shifts last approximately 25 minutes. During this time, volunteers and buddies enjoy lunch together, share stories about common interests, read a book, or play a game.  
So, what are the benefits to students? Research shows that a positive relationship with a mentor can greatly enhance a child’s self-esteem, academics, and long-term success. 
Students in mentoring relationships are less likely to: 
● miss school ● consume illegal drugs ● engage in school violence ● try alcohol or illegal drugs 
Mentored students are more likely to: 
● have higher GPAs ● go to college ● have positive relationships with parents and peers ● have a better attitude toward school, family, and careers. 
This experience is not only rewarding for students, but is also very beneficial to the mentor. Many of our current mentors now will tell you that they gain just as much from their lunch buddy as the students do. 
Mentors have the opportunity to: 
● Share their talents, experience, and wisdom ● Gain deeper insight into the challenges that students and schools are facing in our current culture ● Celebrate successes and learning opportunities ● Be a part of developing a child's self-efficacy and helping them to say: "I CAN!" 
If you are interested in positively impacting the life of a child in our community, sharing your time, talent and treasure,I encourage you to volunteer to serve as a Lunch Buddy. We currently have 12 students on the waiting list for the Lunch Buddy problem and we are in need of more volunteers. For further information, please contact Terri Critten or Tiffany Otto at S.M. Rissler Elementary School.