L.A.M.P. (Learning Assistance and Mentoring Partnerships) is a collaboration among the Pittsburgh Public Schools, Family Guidance, and area churches – including North Way Christian Community – to impact the city of Pittsburgh one student at a time by matching a church (or churches) with a specific Pittsburgh public school to serve and provide mentors to that school’s students. Since 2006, North Way Christian Community has partnered with Pittsburgh Faison K-5 School in the Homewood neighborhood of Pittsburgh – and in the years since, we have matched hundreds of caring mentors to hundreds of students who truly need a caring adult in their life. If you have a heart for children, L.A.M.P. has a waiting list of many children who would love a mentor. Here are a few ways you can get involved, and you can contact Dr. Bryan McCabe for more information. In addition, click here for a detailed list of serving opportunities within this ministry. It begins with simple, transactional types of serving experiences; as you move down the funnel, you’ll discover more transformational engagement where significant life-change happens. One-to-One Mentors One-to-one mentors meet exclusively with one young person for about three hours on a weekly basis for excursions, meals, or just hanging out. These mentors commit to at least one year of mentoring, and the time spent together, week after week, is invaluable in shaping a young person’s confidence, trust, and character. Estimated weekly time commitment: 3 hours plus travel Training required? Yes Travel required: To/from mentee’s home Clearances required: Act 33 and Criminal Background Family-To-One Mentors In family mentoring, an entire family works with one young person, with the same gender parent as the primary mentor. Families meet with students once a week for at least three hours, and we stress the need for one-on-one time with the primary mentor. The family mentor model has become popular because of the important lessons families and mentees learn together. Estimated weekly time commitment: 3 hours plus travel Training required? Yes Travel required: To/from mentee’s home Clearances required: Act 33 and Criminal Background School-Based Mentors School-based mentors are trained specifically for working with a mentee in the school setting. While there may be an occasional need for academic support, the main focus is on building a relationship over the course of the school year. Mentors are matched with a specific child, and weekly time spent together occurs on-site and during school hours. Estimated weekly time commitment: 2 hours plus travel Training required? Yes Travel required: To/from Faison campus Clearances required: Act 33 and Criminal Background Prayer Support Despite all of the time and effort our teams dedicate to helping the children and families at Faison, we know that we will not succeed unless we are humble enough to depend on God’s grace to accomplish His will. We are constantly aware of the enemy’s desire to distract and discourage us. The Prayer Team meets once a year in person, and members participate in daily prayer from their homes. Prayer and praises have proven to be of primary importance, and the Prayer Team rejoices in many changed lives through L.A.M.P. Estimated weekly time commitment: 2 hours Training required? No, but training is available and recommended Travel required: Minimal Clearances required: None Frequently Asked Questions Where is Pittsburgh Faison K-5, and why was North Way matched with this school? The Pittsburgh Faison K-5 School is located on Tioga Street in the Homewood section of the City of Pittsburgh. The students who attend Faison face significant risk for educational failure as defined by the school district. Over 85% of the students who attend are eligible for Title I services targeted to students and families with low and moderate incomes. A closer review of the students and the neighborhood reveals that many students must overcome serious barriers – academic, social, and environmental – to learning on a daily basis. Education and mentoring professionals have indicated that the students and families at Faison continue to benefit measurably from the support of L.A.M.P. How can I help? North Way has created four teams of volunteers to assist students and families: One-to-One Mentors, Family-to-One Mentors, School-Based Mentors, and Prayer Support. Why do I need training? The introductory training combines basic mentoring skills training with an orientation to the Faison School and its community. Through our partnership with Family Guidance – the most successful and experienced faith-based mentoring organization in Pittsburgh – we want to equip all of our volunteers with the tools they need to be successful. These tools include essential training in mentoring and cultural proficiency provided by the Pittsburgh Public School District’s expert consultant team. While some of our volunteers are experienced educators and community activists, they have all been enriched by the high quality of training provided by Family Guidance. Is there a minimum time commitment to be a mentor? Yes. When you agree to become a mentor, we require a minimum one-year commitment. Experienced mentors have identified consistency and reliability as important issues in the lives of the children we seek to serve. In some cases, it may take close to a year to develop a meaningful relationship with a child on a weekly basis. If this is a requirement, because of your other commitments, you believe you cannot fulfill, that is perfectly acceptable. As you can see, there are a number ways to serve the children. Do I need a certain educational or professional background to be a school-based mentor? No. You only need a heart to serve these kids who face so many obstacles to learning. Experience with teaching and/or raising children is helpful, but not necessary. Mastery of academic skills – mathematics, reading, writing, science, and others – is NOT required. Does L.A.M.P. have an impact on the students? YES! Over the past 10 years, L.A.M.P. mentors have been able to witness their mentees improving their academic performance, reducing their number of school absences and disciplinary incidents, the Faison School has achieved higher standardized test scores, and numerous L.A.M.P. mentees have graduated high school and college. Most rewarding is that surveys of L.A.M.P. mentees have shown that by being in the program, they have experienced significant growth in their relationship with God! May I serve on more than one team at a time? Yes. Many of our volunteers participate on a number of levels in L.A.M.P. It is not unusual for a volunteer to serve as a school-based mentor and also serve as a one-to-one or family-to-one mentor. The only limit on your participation is your time. What is Family Guidance? Family Guidance is a comprehensive, Christ-centered organization, established in 1964, that provides training, support, and mentoring supervision for L.A.M.P. mentors.