Julie Dodd, Mentoring Co-chair

by Julie Dodd

More than 6,100 high school and middle school journalism/media students and teachers will be in Washington, D.C., Nov. 12-15, for the JEA/NSPA convention. Twenty-one of the JEA mentors will be there, too.

The mentors will participate in a day-long Mentor Forum on Thursday, led by mentor committee members Nick Ferentinos, Bill Fletchner and Peggy Gregory. The three have done a great job of getting input from the mentors about topics to include in the Forum. Judy Robinson will lead sessions to help the mentors learn to use audio recorders for creating mentor podcasts. Linda Barrington and I, as the committee co-chairs, will play cameo roles, joining the group to talk about some of the logistics of the program (including completing monthly reports and sending us information about their mentees). Thursday night, the mentors and the Mentoring Committee members will go to dinner together.

Linda and I will be making a presentation to the board about the Mentoring Program, now entering its third year — with 30 mentors in 13 states and 119 mentees. The JEA board has provided great support for the program, funding the program for six years. At the board meeting and then throughout the convention, Linda will distribute the latest edition of JEA Mentoring Matters, the semi-annual newsletter for the program. We’ll post that on the blog.

During Friday and Saturday, the mentors will be presenting sessions in a new strand of the convention program — New or Nearly New Advisers. The mentors started offering sessions for new advisers at the St. Louis convention (Fall 2008), and the sessions were very popular. The mentors also will help with judging the Write-off Contests — from yearbook design to podcasting. We certainly appreciate the funding from Yellow Chair that makes the Mentor Forums and the audio training possible.

Thanks to Judy for setting up the JEA Mentoring Matters blog for the JEA Mentoring Program — and in time for us to post to the blog during the convention. Check back for photos and news updates from the convention. Better yet, add jeanmentoring.wordpress.com to your RSS feed.