The Kansas Mentors Gold Star program was developed in an effort to provide a safe and effective mentoring environment for the youth of Kansas. This program recognizes mentoring partners across the state who have committed to maintaining a basic set of standards that ensure a quality mentoring experience. Developed by the Kansas Mentors Council of Mentors, these standards reflect guidelines set forth in MENTOR/National Mentoring Partnership’s Elements of Effective Practice™ and the Council's definition of mentoring. Click here to learn more about the Gold Star Program.

Kansas Mentors strongly endorses the Elements of Effective Practice™ created by MENTOR/National Mentoring Partnership, which were developed by mentoring experts from across the nation and urges all mentoring programs to follow these practices. There are four key components:

  • Program Design and Planning: This element provides a comprehensive strategy for how to start an effective mentoring program.
  • Program Management: This element involves developing a finance plan and the managerial practices needed to help ensure the program is well-managed.
  • Program Operations: This element focuses on recruitment, screening, training, and matching practices, which are beneficial to maintaining standards for safe and effective mentoring.
  • Program Evaluation: This element gives guidance for establishing program quality and effectiveness.

MENTOR's How to Build a Successful Mentoring Program using the Elements of Effective Practice™ (including an editable toolkit) is available to download here.

Kansas Mentors' Council of Mentors, composed of experts in faith, school and community-based mentoring programs from across the state, established the following definition:

Mentoring is a consistent, structured, stable relationship between youth and a caring role model(s) that:

  • Involves regular, ongoing, and ideally face-to-face meetings; and
  • Is focused on developing the character, capabilities and confidence of the young person(s).


MENTOR's How to Build a Successful Mentoring Program Toolkit:  A great resource for developing and experienced programs that offers essential guidelines for programs to develop, maintain and sustain all aspects of program operations.

Oregon Mentors' Evaluation Instrument Toolkit:  A collection of downloadable evaluation instruments, surveys, scales, and questionnaires.

Mentoring Partnership of Minnesota's PR Toolkit:  Learn to leverage effective media strategies, complete with customizable and downloadable templates for your organization.

Kansas Mentors' Advice for Mentors Toolkit: Support and advice for mentors that can be copied and pasted into any Kansas mentoring program's social media platform (Facebook & Twitter).

Mentor Michigan's Men in Mentoring Toolkit: This toolkit is designed to provide program staff and their trained mentor recruiters with language and tips to use when making the ask to men.

CNCS's Becoming a Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Mentor Toolkit: Help organize a group of STEM volunteers to fulfill a need/gap in your community using this toolkit.

Connect for Kids' College Toolkit: Scholarship searches, courses children should be taking at what year, and engines to help youth decide on the right college.

Mentoring Partnership of Long Island's Discovering the Possibilities: Curriculum designed specifically for mentors and mentees in the 8th and 9th grades.  Allows mentors to engage their mentees in exercises that get young people thinking seriously about college and taking the steps necessary to get there.

National Mentoring Month Toolkit: Key messages, social media calendar, and sample outreach materials for January's National Mentoring Month campaign.

How Effective Are Mentoring Programs for Youth?  A Systematic Assessment of the Evidence: Authors David DuBois, Nelson Portillo, Jean Rhodes, Naida Silverthorn, and Jeffrey Valentine.

Public/Private Ventures:  Public/Private Ventures (P/PV) archive of collections including almost 400 research reports, case studies, evaluations and more about how to best improve programs, and outcomes, for children, youth and families.

Jean E. Rhodes, Ph.D.:  Dr. Rhodes is a globally recognized expert on youth mentoring and has devoted her career to understanding the role of intergenerational relationship in the lives of disadvantaged youth. 

Role of Risk: Mentoring Experiences for Youth with Varying Risk Profiles: Authors Carla Herrera, David DuBois and Jean Grossman.  Click here for the Executive Summary.

Child Trends DataBank:  This resource provides up-to-date trend data with the latest national estimates for all indicators (i.e. risky behaviors, health conditions, socio-economic status etc.).  Child Trends is a nonprofit, nonpartisan research organization dedicated to improving the lives of children and families by providing research and data to inform decision-making that affects children.

KIDS COUNT: This resource, sponsored by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, is a national and state-by-state effort to track the status of children in the United States. Through KIDS COUNT, you can link to their Data Center, Publications and Resources, and State Networks.

Overview of Records Checks: Knowing what type(s) of check a program should use when screening mentors can be overwhelming; here is a handy sheet that provides a summary of the various types of local, state and federal checks available.

Collaborative Mentoring Webinar Series: Register for free webinars focused on strengthening mentoring practice, sharing new resources, and helping the field put research into practice.

The Chronicle of Evidence-Based Mentoring: An online source for sharing new findings and ideas about youth mentoring.

National Mentoring Resource Center: Serves as a comprehensive and reliable source for mentoring tools, program and training materials and information.

MENTOR's Resource Center: Users can search a wide array of topic areas including resources for programs, mentors and mentees.

The 40 Developmental Assets by The Search Institute.  Search Institute's 40 Developmental Assets are concrete, comment sense, positive experiences and qualities essential to raising young people.

LEARNS:  LEARNS is funded by the Corporation for National and Community Service to provide training and technical assistance to projects focused on literacy, education, mentoring, and out-of-school time. LEARNS is a partnership of the Northwest Regional Educational Laboratory (NWREL) and the Bank Street College of Education (BSC).

Corporation for National & Community Service's Resource Center: A variety of interactive resources and publications for the service community.  

Preparing Participants for Mentoring: The U.S. Department of Education Mentoring Program's Guide to Initial Training of Volunteers, Youth and Parents:  This guidebook is designed to help mentoring programs prepare for and deliver initial training sessions for mentors, parents, and youth participants.

Click here for an overview of resources available specifically for mentors.

Disclaimer:  The messages portrayed in the film Waiting for "Superman" do not necessarily represent the views of Kansas Mentors.  We are promoting every young person's right to achieve their full potential.  Education is an important part of that process.  We do not have an opinion on the debate of charter schools versus public schools or other issues related to the U.S. public education system.  We can, however, discuss the proven merits of mentoring as a whole and as an intervention that helps keep young people in school.



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Kansas Mentors is an affiliate of MENTOR