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Greenbush Gazette

Posted on: July 30, 2019

Greenbush partners with TeamMates to bring gold-standard mentoring program to Kansas schools

TeamMates Mentoring logo

Thanks to a new partnership between Greenbush - The Southeast Kansas Education Service Center and TeamMates Mentoring, a nonprofit started by legendary Huskers football coach Dr. Tom Osborne, 10 Kansas school districts will take part in a pilot project bringing the gold standard of school-based mentoring to their communities in the 2019-2020 school year.

Four districts have been confirmed for the pilot year, with six more to be announced soon. The four confirmed districts are USD 250 Pittsburg, USD 258 Humboldt, USD 368 Paola, and USD 416 Louisburg.

Beyond the pilot year, Greenbush will recruit and train schools statewide on the TeamMates Mentoring Program, which pairs caring adult volunteer mentors with youths in grades 3-12 with the goal of helping those youths reach high school graduation with a plan for college or other skills training that will set them on the path to successful adulthood.

“We’re excited to help bring this program to our state, and we think it’s coming at just the right time,” said Bart Swartz, Associate Executive Director of Greenbush. “Through the school redesign process, Kansas educators are focusing a great deal of attention on the social and emotional needs of students. The one-on-one mentoring that schools will be able to provide as a result of our partnership with TeamMates is an integral component to that support.”

Sarah Waldman, TeamMates executive director, said the organization is excited to partner with Greenbush to expand the program's presence in Kansas. 

"Through this partnership, we will provide all the tools a community needs to implement an effective school-based mentoring program with the support of a well-known, trusted partner,” Waldman said.

The TeamMates Model blends local leadership and program implementation with the capabilities and support of a nationally recognized organization. The following are some of the advantages of using the TeamMates model for school-based mentoring:

  • TeamMates is a time-tested, best practice mentoring program that meets the Elements of Effective Practice, a nationally recognized standard for mentoring programs.
  • The school is the center of mentoring activity, which provides a safe place for mentoring meetings while building community engagement between the school, adult volunteers, community partners and families.
  • TeamMates provides all training, recruitment tools, match support and program support, including annual training updates and customized dashboards measuring the impact of the program.
  • Local leaders develop recruitment strategies, fundraising goals and engagement activities based on the needs and culture of their local community.

Dr. Tom and Nancy Osborne started the TeamMates Mentoring Program in 1991 with 22 University of Nebraska-Lincoln football players and 22 Lincoln middle school students. Coach Osborne felt the athletes in his program could make an impact on the students.

TeamMates is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) that was formalized as a statewide program in 1998 and has grown to serve more than 160 school districts across 5 states. Its geographic scope and growing number of students served make TeamMates one of the largest and most cost-effective mentoring programs in the country.

Greenbush - The Southeast Kansas Education Service Center serves learners of all ages through partnerships with schools, communities, and agencies statewide. Underlying the organization’s diverse range of services and supports is one central mission: to ensure equal educational opportunities for all.

For more information, contact Doug Graham with Greenbush at 620.724.6281 or; or DeMoine Adams with TeamMates at 402.318.8346 or

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