Community Friends mentors are matched with children from the greater Addison County community. Mentor-mentee pairs meet for approximately two hours each week and explore campus, grab snacks in the dining hall, play games, attend organization-wide events that Community Friends hosts, like caramel apple-decorating and pool parties; and more! A really special part of Community Friends is getting to know a child closely, and learn their interests and what activities are fun for them to do. Community Friends matches have the potential to last all four years that students are at Middlebury, so there is a really unique and wonderful bond that forms when pairs are matched for a while and get to know each other well. For students, learning about the area surrounding Middlebury from a child’s perspective can be very interesting and informative. For kids, it is fun to have a big person to spend time and talk with who is a little different from family members or teachers. For both mentors and mentees, Community Friends is an opportunity to build a friendship in a new and different way while having a fun time!
Through Community Friends, I have had the opportunity to get to know my mentee over the course of my four years at Middlebury. My mentee was five years old when we started meeting, and now when she is eight I feel like I have really had the chance to see her grow and develop different interests. My mentee and I love to do arts and crafts and explore outside, but sometimes match time is just a really nice opportunity to engage in conversation. There is something incredibly special about getting to hear about the world from a child’s perspective, and I have learned so much from my mentee. She shares with me thoughts about school, play, and more that have impacted the way that I think! I am grateful for my own experience with Community Friends, and feel so happy when I learn about other mentor-mentee pairs who have positive experiences as well.
Eleanor Fisk ’17