Mentoring Program

Since 1995, Communities In Schools of Renton (CISR) Mentor Program has matched community volunteers with Renton students in grades 1-12 who may be at risk of academic failure. The school-based mentor program matches a trained adult volunteer with a child for one hour a week during the school day at specific schools within the Renton School District. Mentors interact with the child over a period of time, establishing an open and trusting relationship, encouraging the child to see school as a positive place, and supporting their academic success

The CISR Mentor Program is supported by a full-time Program Manager, two AmeriCorps Program Coordinators and Family Liaisons as site coordinators overseeing the program on school grounds.

The Mentor/Mentee relationship is led by the student’s interests. Activities focus on helping kids further improve their self-esteem, identity, and vision for their future as they journey through their academic career.

Who We Serve

CISR serves students who may be failing classes, have high absenteeism, feel disengaged from school, having difficulty relating to peers positively, lack positive role models, and/or may be dealing with severe cultural difficulties typical of newly arrived immigrants. Students served by CISR most often are low income, ethnic minority students, and living in single parent households. CISR provides the Mentoring Program to referred students so that they may experience a positive educational experience and assure they stay in school and graduate.

Students we serve are:

  • 98% Low Income
  • 79% Ethnic Minority Students, kids of color, non-white
  • 46% Living in single parent households
  • 22% Homeless

During the 2014-2015 CISR Mentor Program provided service in the following capacity:

  • 186 Students were matched one to one with a caring adult mentor that provided a positive, caring inter-generational friendship weekly, during the course of the school year.
  • Volunteer Mentors provided 2,770 hours of Mentoring support to students, valued at over $56,000

CISR ensures the quality and effectiveness of its Mentor Program in all areas, including program design and planning, management, operations, and evaluation.

Step Up Mentoring Program

The Communities In Schools of Renton Step Up Mentoring Program provides a group mentoring experience for 5th graders who can bond with an Adult Mentor to form a positive relationship that will last for the school year. The group mentoring experience will provide opportunities for the students to bond with their fellow classmates and help each other build positive peer relationships, self-confidence, and learning skills as they transition from elementary to middle school.

How To Become Involved

In one hour a week, one day a week during the course of the school year you could make a positive difference in the life of a child. All Mentors must submit an application, character references and complete a Washington State Patrol Background check and Volunteer Questionnaire. Once the application is approved, Mentors will be invited to a Mentoring 101 Training session to complete their screening. Once training is complete, the Mentor will be assigned to a Renton School District School and a Family Liaison will begin the process of matching the Mentor with a student.

Become a mentor today, or recommend someone you think would make a great friend to a child.  It will be one the best things you ever did.

Contact Information

For more information, please contact Mara Fiksdal, Mentor Program Manager at (425) 430-6659 or email

We would be delighted to assist you through this process.