Since 2001, Sun Youth’s Anti-Bullying and Conflict Resolution Program makes a difference in Montreal's participating public schools. Through the program, schools have access to a Youth and Social Mentor, an additional resource that supports the school staff during the year by fostering positive relationships amongst students.
In the short term, each student benefits from the program, as it helps to decrease bullying and intimidation, strengthens social ties and develops team spirit. The full integration of social mentors in schools and supportive teachers and staff are important elements of success.
Social Mentors in schools
Social mentors are chosen both for their professional skills and their interpersonal abilities that allow them to integrate harmoniously the staff of their school. Acting as a positive role model for the students, the mentor will demonstrate proper social behaviour as to strengthen the values of the institution, respecting its standards and maintaining a trusting relationship with the students.
Social mentors will encounter different situations depending on the school. Thus, they adapt to the specific needs of each class or each student. Interventions include group workshops on leadership, peer mediation, conflict resolution, socialization, and discussion groups about issues today’s teens deal with. The mentors also organize extracurricular activities that use team work (sports, food drives, creating a school newspaper). Individual interventions are mainly centered on homework assistance and mediation.