Frequently Asked Questions

Parents & Students

How can my child get involved with the elementary program?

Students at one of our target schools (see below) should visit a counselor and ask for an application. Program staff will review these applications and interview the students who best fit with the program. After the interview, students will be notified of their acceptance into the program. Our target schools are: Elementary: Belvedere Academy, Conestoga Magnet, Field Club, Franklin, Fontenelle, Howard Kennedy, Jackson, Kellom, King, Miller Park, Mount View, Saratoga, Middle: Beveridge, Marrs, Lewis & Clark, McMillan, Monroe, Norris, High: Central, North, Northwest and South.

How does the P4K middle school program benefit my child?

Middle school students learn social skills, positive study habits, and teamwork, which will help them be successful both in and out of school. High school students practice writing job and activities resumes; scheduling high school classes, study times and extracurricular activities; and filling out forms, such as scholarship, college, and job applications and financial aid.

What happens if my student can’t make a meeting or falls below a 2.5 GPA?

Staff members work with students to ensure that they are utilizing all resources available to maintain a 2.5 GPA or higher, but if a student falls below they will be placed on academic probation. This means that students are required to meet with a staff member on a regular basis in an effort to raise their GPA. Students may be excused from a meeting on a case-by-case basis but are still required to attend a certain percentage of the meetings, otherwise they do not benefit from the program. If a student falls below the percentage, they will be required to meet with a staff member to discuss the attendance issues. Parents may have to meet with staff members as well.

How can I get involved in the program as a parent?

Parents are sent information regarding the activity and meeting schedule for each semester. They are also provided with contact information for program staff and managers. Not only are parents welcome to attend many of the student events, but there are also family events, such as picnics and information nights, designed specifically for the families of the students in our program.

What if my student can’t speak English?

For Spanish speaking students, we have bilingual coordinators facilitating meetings at Norris, Field Club, Jackson & South.

How does my middle or high school student get to and from meetings?

Meetings are held directly after school and after the meeting is over, students are transported home by shuttle van, school bus, or program staff. If a student goes to a different school then where the meeting is, staff will pick up the student from their school and take them to the meeting.

Why is my child being put on probation?

Students are required to attend a certain percentage of after-school meetings, maintain a 2.5 GPA, and miss no more than two days of school per quarter. If students do not meet or exceed these goals, they are placed on probation and staff members work individually with them to help them be more successful in the program.

What do we do in the after-school meetings?

During meetings, students engage in team-building and skill-building activities. Most activities are done in groups. As students get older they will practice filling out college forms and creating resumes.

Where and when do meetings take place for P4K middle and high school students?

Meetings take place in the schools shortly after school lets out, between the hours of 3:30- 5pm Monday – Thursday.

What if I participate in sports…can I still join?

Students are encouraged to participate in other extra-curricular activities, such as sports. However, they are still required to attend a certain percentage of meetings in order to fully benefit from our program.

What does it cost?

All programming and services provided by Partnership 4 Kids are free to participants.

Why do you need so many signatures from me on the application?

Partnership 4 Kids provides many services to the students in our program. In order to provide these services, staff members need permission from the parents.

Where do group mentors meet with their mentees?

Mentors and mentees meet at a designated school in a large group. This means a student group of approximately 25 will be joined by a mentor group of approximately 8 for meetings three times per month. However, mentors and mentees are able to meet outside of these meetings if they would like to.

Will my student get their own mentor or goal buddy?

Our volunteer goal buddies are responsible for meeting individually with 2 classrooms of students twice per quarter. Our group mentors are matched with teams of 3-4 students inside a larger classroom. This mentor will get to know your student well and will monitor grades and attendance with the aid of P4K program staff.

Will parents get to meet a student’s goal buddy or group mentor?

Parents can meet their student’s goal buddy at quarterly celebrations, while parents can meet with a student’s group mentor at scheduled meetings or at P4K family events. Mentors will also make monthly phone calls to each student in their group, providing an opportunity to talk with parents. If you would like to arrange a meeting, please contact your student’s program coordinator.

Does P4K offer tutoring?

Since there are many academic help resources at each school, tutors are only available to students who need assistance beyond what is offered at school. In order to be eligible for tutoring services, students

Are there meetings in the summer?

While regular meetings are not held during the summer months, we do have career exploration workshops and tours available to our middle and high school students.

Are summer meetings mandatory?

Summer programming is not required, but is strongly encouraged. If a student will be unable to attend summer programs, they should contact a staff member to let them know.

What if family plans conflict with a meeting or activity?

It is very important to stay in contact with program staff. Let a staff member know if there are family conflicts, otherwise, students will be considered unexcused from a meeting or activity.

Can I or other family members attend meetings and/or activities?

Absolutely.

How often should I be in contact with staff?

As often as you like. Staff will place phone calls to students at least twice a month. Feel free to join the conversation and if you ever have any questions, please give us a call.

What happens if my elementary student doesn’t reach his/her goals?

Goals are set for each student on a quarterly basis.  If they do not meet one or more of their goals in one quarter, there is still an opportunity for them to meet their goals the following quarter.

How are goals set?

Elementary school student goals are set by the child’s teacher based on both the student’s ability and performance levels. Middle and high school students work together with their mentors and program staff leaders to set challenging and reachable goals.  In both cases the goal content is selected in an area where extra motivation will enhance the student’s ability to learn.

My student hasn’t been reaching any of their goals. What can we do to make him/her more successful?

Discuss the goal with your student’s teacher or Partnership 4 Kids Program Coordinator to make sure that the goal is within your student’s reach.  If the goal is appropriate:

  • Practice the skill with your student.
  • Ask about the goal several times a week to keep the idea of reaching the goal fresh in their mind.
  • Help your student break the goal into smaller manageable sections so that they can see progress toward their goal.

Why do you give away prizes?

Prizes are incentives used to promote student learning and appropriate school behavior.  Elementary students reaching both reading and math goals receive a medal to celebrate their success.  Elementary students reaching reading, math, and life skills goals have an opportunity to win a prize over and above receiving their medal on stage.

Why does my student have to wear their P4K Pride polo shirt to participate in the celebrations?

Students wear their P4K Pride polo shirts to foster an atmosphere of unity and school pride.

What can I do if I’m not receiving my student’s goals?

Talk to your student’s teacher or Partnership 4 Kids Program Coordinator.  Goals should be sent home at the beginning of each quarter prior to your student’s first visit/meeting of that quarter.

Volunteers

How can I get involved as a volunteer?

Fill out an application / background screening on the volunteer page—link to www.p4k.org/volunteer. We will schedule a training session and perform a background check. Upon completion, you will be matched with a team of volunteers and be given a schedule.

What is the time commitment? / What are your requirements?

To learn about the specific requirements for each program, check out the volunteer page of our website.

Can I still volunteer if I can’t commit to a year of service?

Absolutely!  Request more information about our service league, by contacting 402-557-6381.

Why do you have to perform a background check? / How does that work?

Partnership 4 Kids performs annual background screenings on each volunteer for the safety of our students and our volunteers. We employ the services of OneSource, the background screening company, to assist us in screening our volunteers. Potential volunteers will fill out the appropriate paperwork, and our Recruitment Team will perform the check. All information is confidential and is kept in the volunteer’s personnel file.

How can my company get involved?

There are a variety of ways for companies to get involved. Your company can sponsor a team of employees to work with our students, or can host a career exploration day. Fundraising event sponsorships are another great way for companies to get involved. All donations made to Partnership 4 Kids are tax deductible.

What happens if I get a new job and no longer work for the company I volunteer through?

Job changes, expected or unexpected, can lead to all kinds of unwanted stress. If you wish to continue to volunteer with your group, you may continue to do so. If you wish to continue but with a different group, simply contact a recruitment staff member at 402-930-3000 and request a new group. They will schedule a “closure” session with the students where you can say goodbye and explain why you will not be seeing them. This sense of closure is important for our students to ensure they do not feel abandoned. If you are unable to continue volunteering with our organization entirely, we again ask that you give us advanced notice so we can schedule a closure session with your students.

How can I become a Captain?

Captains are invited to participate based upon their connection to the school and community.

Can my friend volunteer? / Can I bring a friend to volunteer with me if they’re not already a volunteer?

Please encourage your friends to volunteer. However, for the safety of our staff, other volunteers and most importantly, our students we ask that all individuals volunteering with our students undergo a thorough background screening and application process. However, with as short as two week’s notice, we can have your friend trained and ready to volunteer with you. Download our application and send it their way.

Can I volunteer if I’m not associated with a corporate team?

Individuals are highly encouraged to volunteer. A large number of our volunteers work with our programs individually. However, since Partnership 4 Kids works with groups of students, our volunteers are paired with other volunteers to form a team. Think of it as a great opportunity to meet some of the best, most self-giving people in Omaha. We do!

How many students do you serve?

We currently serve more than 5,000 Omaha Public Schools students.  The P4K Elementary School program automatically enrolls every student (school-wide) in the twelve Title I elementary schools we serve.  The P4K group mentoring program has an application process for students who wish to participate. Middle school students are also referred to our program by school counselors and teachers, based on factors that would put their academic performance at risk.

What schools do you serve?

We serve 12 elementary schools, 6 middle schools and 4  high schools. Elementary: Belvedere Academy, Conestoga Magnet, Field Club, Franklin, Fontenelle, Howard Kennedy, Jackson, Kellom, King, Miller Park, Mount View, Saratoga, Middle: Beveridge, Marrs, Lewis & Clark, McMillan, Monroe, Norris, High: Central, North, Northwest and South.

What are the benefits of volunteering as a goal buddy or group mentor with Partnership 4 Kids?

For students, the benefits of mentoring are numerous: positive self-image, increased grades, increased attendance, and decreased likelihood to engage in drugs or gang activity. However, our volunteers get a great deal out of the mentoring relationship as well. For one, there is pride in working with an organization with real, measurable results. In addition, our volunteers mentor in a low-stress, social environment with the aid of other volunteers and P4K staff. Just check out our testimonials page link to www.p4k.org/testimonials and see what our volunteers have to say about their experience.

How is group mentoring different from one-to-one mentoring?

While more structured and less spontaneous than one-to-one mentoring, group mentoring offers stability and the unique opportunity to influence more students through exercises designed to increase meaningful conversation, allow insight into the student’s social life, and encourage personal growth. With the guidance and support of P4K staff, our volunteers spend less time worrying about what to do, what to talk to talk about and simply get to enjoy their interactions with their students, play games, and have meaningful talks with a clear goal in mind. Our volunteers simply show up to scheduled meetings and make a difference in a student’s life.

One-to-One

Group Mentoring

How many students am I working with? In a traditional one-to-one mentoring relationship, the mentor only meets with their one mentee. With group mentoring, a mentor has the chance to work with up to four youth and build multiple relationships in a fun, structured environment.
When and where will I meet with my mentees? In a one-to-one mentoring relationship, the mentor has to figure out when they are free and coordinate schedules with the mentee. The location of meeting is determined based on the activity, and may create challenges if there are transportation issues. As a P4K group mentor, you will meet with your small group of mentees three times a month directly after school. All student/mentor meetings take are scheduled at the beginning of the school year, so it is easy to plan ahead.
What will we do when we meet? The mentor must come up with different things they can do with their mentee. P4K program coordinators plan all the activities for the student/mentor meetings.  You don’t have to worry about figuring out what to do – there will be an engaging topic each time you show up to a meeting!
What will we talk about? Sometimes, it takes a lot to facilitate a conversation with a young person. Since there are structured activities for you to do with your mentees, the conversation truly facilitates itself. There are plenty of opportunities to discuss the activity at hand and/or have a group discussion about a related topic.
How does my mentee benefit? A student undoubtedly benefits from a relationship with a caring adult. In addition to having the support and encouragement of the mentor, the mentees get to know each other and the group dynamic promotes positive peer interaction.

Who is eligible to serve as a P4K goal buddy or group mentor?

Are you 18 years or older? Do you have a passion to work with students? Do you want to make a difference in your community? Then P4K is for you! Just fill out an application / background check release and we’ll get you started.

What is required of group mentors?

Group mentors must commit to attending after-school meetings, twice a month for at least one school year. Group mentors are asked to make monthly contact with the students in their small group outside of scheduled meetings – this can be a phone call, text message, email, etc. All mentors are required to fill out an application, undergo training, and an annual background screening.