As 2Rs4Fun kicks off its fall season at Shelter Island Public Library, the writing program that matches young students with adult mentors has put out its latest edition of student writing from last spring’s semester.The program that retired teacher Mary Dwyer kicked off eight years ago is thriving with a dozen mentors committed to working with the students and 20 more adults signed up to be substitutes in the event a mentor can’t make a session with a student.
While she has a full slate of mentors, she admits she’s hesitant to say she doesn’t need more because it’s “a big commitment” mentors make to work with students on a weekly basis for more than two months.
“You have to love literacy, love writing and love children,” Ms. Dwyer said.
The program she founded has been carried out in connection with the Shelter Island Public Library and the Shelter Island Education Foundation with the volunteer mentors who are trained in how to work effectively with the budding writers.
The program is co-funded by the library and the Shelter Island Education Foundation with volunteer mentors who are trained in how to work effectively with the budding writers.
As the program launches this fall, Ms. Dwyer has two initiatives that excite her. One is to include student writing in the archives at the Shelter Island Historical Society. Archivist Phyllis Wallace suggested the idea and Ms. Dwyer jumped on it.
The second she’s mulling is to bring back some of the program’s early students who are now teenagers and form a teen writing group.
“I think it’s important,” Ms. Dwyer said about students getting an early start on developing their writing skills.
But equally important, she said, is the bonding that takes place between mentors and students. It provides students with another adult role model and someone they can speak to besides their parents and teachers, Ms. Dwyer said.
“I really think you can make or break a child early on,” Ms. Dwyer said about the connection that is created between students and their mentors.
Students whose writings are published in the spring 2014 book are Alexandra Brush, Pacey Cronin, Emmett Cummings, Emma Martinez Majdisova, Andrea Napoles, Olivia Overstreet, Bazzy Quigley-Dunning, Katherine Ramos, Francis Regan, Riley Renault, Dayla Reyes, Valeria Reyes, Mollie Numark and Evan Schack, all fourth graders at the time; and Angelina Rice and Hayden Rylott, who were in the third grade last spring.
Mentors were Heather Reylek, Joseph Murphy, Christine Pelletier, Barbara Olton, Roger McKeon, Jean Ely, Margaret Colligan, Mollie Numark, Peter Berger, Wade Badger, Bliss Morehead, Roger McKeon, Jean Lawless and Jerry Glassberg.
Substitute mentors during that semester were Brenda Bergman, Kathryn Cunningham, Janet D’Amato, Leah Friedman, Carol Galligan, Stephen Gessner, Catrina Heimann, Robin Karnis, Tullia Limarzi, Vivian Lindemann, Pat Lutkins, Mary Lydon, Joe Messing, Maryann Moderelli, Jack Monaghan, Lois Morris, Michaela Muntean, Eleanor Oakley, Chuck Olton, Barbara Silverstone, Paulette Van Vranken, Peter Vielbig and Sandra Waldner.