Using Mentors in Makerspaces

At a school I worked at until recently, the use of Reading Grandparents made a difference in the literacy time of every Division I student.  Once a week, a reading grandma or grandpa would engage students in various reading exercises.  Relationships were built.  Learning was done.  In a community with many transient children, someone, unconditionally, had time for them.

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Can this model be applied for the Makerspace in schools?  Yes, of course.  As a teacher and facilitator in the makerspace, finding experts to engage with kids about simple maker projects would create amazing connections.

The local bike shop operator may jump at the opportunity to help students learn to take care of their bicycles.  What about a baker making dough with students?  A local crafts person may be happy to pass along some skills.  While on the forefront of skill development, maker mentors can also build community.

At my former school, we also had Calgary Police Services in conjunction with the Calgary Public Library visit every few weeks for a story time and book borrowing.  It’s a Crime Not to Read program showed students from various backgrounds that the police were approachable and embedded in their community.

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Look for opportunities to meet some experts in your community, ask them about sharing their expertise, go through the administrative work to get them in your school and introduce students to real people who do real things.

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