A Mentoring Milestone

Employees at the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda and students at Walter Johnson High School who participated in a mentoring program will celebrate the end of the school year today at the medical center.

In an effort organized by the Montgomery County Task Force on Mentoring, 18 volunteers from the medical center met with students once a week for the past four months to discuss school, career aspirations, family issues and other concerns.

The volunteers were all in their twenties, which helped students relate to them, said John William Smith, who heads the task force.

"We follow the ABCs of mentoring to develop the students: an improvement in academic achievement, behavior and self-discipline, and an improvement in making a contribution to your community," Smith said.

The volunteers work in a variety of fields, including physiotherapy, biomedical science, dentistry and psychiatry.

Help Diversity Effort

The Montgomery County public school system is looking for two facilitators for the Study Circles program, which brings together parents, teachers and students in an effort to build relationships across racial and ethnic groups and to understand how race and ethnicity affect student achievement.

An orientation will be held from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. June 29 in the Carver Educational Services Center auditorium, at 850 Hungerford Dr. in Rockville.

The goal, according to John Landesman, the program's director, is to understand the challenges of a highly diverse school system, discuss issues of race openly and productively, and remove racial and ethnic barriers to student success.

Students, teachers and parents are placed in small groups for six sessions, with guidance from two facilitators to discuss questions and share experiences.

Discussion points among the groups include creating a Latino parents group, resources to overcome students' language barriers and developing a diversity training program for teachers.

For additional information, call the Study Circles office at 301-279-3455.

-- Compiled by KATHRYN LYNCH

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