Recreation Management Rec Report - The Newsletter for Recreation, Sports & Fitness Facility Managers

Feature Story

February 2020


NRPA Launches Mentoring in Parks and Rec

By Chandler Garland

In January, the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) announced a new initiative to expand and support mentoring programs in parks and recreation: Mentoring in Parks and Rec: Connecting Communities, Cultivating Leaders. All throughout January—National Mentoring Month—NRPA released a series of blogs, social media posts and more related to this initiative and the importance of mentoring.

Local parks and recreation agencies provide many opportunities for youth to engage in positive social experiences and form strong, healthy connections with adults. Through this initiative, NRPA will support local park and recreation agencies in their efforts to build effective and evidence-based mentorship programs that connect youth with caring and compassionate mentors while strengthening connections across communities.

"NRPA is excited to introduce its Mentoring in Parks and Rec initiative dedicated to supporting park and recreation professionals as they implement mentoring programs for at-risk and vulnerable youth," said Kellie May, NRPA vice president of programs and partnerships. "As public health threats continue to impact our communities, evidence-based mentorship programs have the power to provide essential connections to people, community and opportunity, keeping youth on the path to success."

Mentoring plays a key role in preventing young people from engaging in risky and harmful behaviors, while keeping them engaged in positive activities that build confidence, empower decision-making, and enhance relationships with peers, adults and community. At-risk youth who have a mentor are 55% more likely to enroll in college and 46% less likely to use drugs than youth without mentors. Unfortunately, one in three young people in the United States reaches age 19 without a mentor of any kind. This includes the 9 million at-risk youth who are missing critical support and connections that mentoring can provide.

Park and recreation agencies are well-suited to help close this gap by offering one-on-one and group mentoring programs that support and nurture youth. Through Mentoring in Parks and Rec, NRPA will work with partners to develop resources that agencies and their staff can use to develop or expand programs and help youth gain access to quality mentors.

To support local park and recreation agencies in the development and implementation of effective mentoring programs, NRPA's newly launched Mentoring in Parks and Rec website provides access to numerous resources, including:

  • NRPA's Youth Mentoring Framework
  • Mentoring to Address Trauma and Adverse Childhood Experiences
  • Mentorship in Rural, Central Appalachia for Youth Impacted by Opioids
  • Resource and research database
  • The National Mentoring Partnership's Elements of Effective Practice for Mentoring
  • Family engagement resources
  • Law enforcement engagement resources
  • Substance use prevention resources

These resources are partially funded through a three-year program (grant #2018-JU-FX-0036) supported by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP), a component of the Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice.

To learn more, visit www.nrpa.org.


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ACE Examines Effectiveness of REHIT - February 2020

RTC Shares Progress Toward Completing Great American Rail-Trail - February 2020

18 Cities Earn Grants for Parks - January 2020

USA Swimming Recognizes Top Swimming Clubs - January 2020

Study Finds One-Third of U.S. High Schools Have No Access to Athletic Trainers - January 2020

Philadelphia Kids to Get More Play Options - January 2020

People's Choice Awards Honors Whirligig Park in North Carolina - December 2019

NSF International Adds New Standards for Interactive Water Play - December 2019

ACSM: Wearable Tech, HIIT Are Top Fitness Trends for 2020 - December 2019

TPL Looks to Schoolyards to Improve Park Access - December 2019

Meet Me at the Park Grant Program Reaches More than a Million Kids - November 2019

PHTA Recognizes Achievements in Aquatics - November 2019

Know the Dangers of Unauthorized Entry - November 2019

Survey Says: Americans Love Their Parks - November 2019

NRPA Awards Grants to 10 Communities to Expand Park Access - October 2019

CPSC Awards Pool Safely Grants - October 2019

NCAA Announces AASP Grant Recipients - October 2019

$170.6 Million in LWCF Grants to Support Parks & Outdoor Recreation - October 2019

High School Sports Participation Declines for the First Time in 30 Years - September 2019

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New Study May Change Use of Chlorine Stabilizers in Swimming Pools - September 2019

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Survey Reveals Top Outdoor Recreation Activities - August 2019

Pediatricians Urge Communities to Provide Swim Lessons for All - August 2019

Report: Tennis Participation Remains Consistent - August 2019

Survey: Only Half of Collegiate Sports Programs Follow NCAA Model for Student Medical Care - August 2019

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NRPA, Disney Award Play Space Grants - July 2019

Swim Clinic Teaches Water Safety Basics - July 2019

Nation's Pediatrics: Put More Emphasis on Enjoyment of Sports - July 2019

Diabetes Declines, National DPP Program Helped - July 2019

Washington, D.C., Unseats Minneapolis as Best City Park System - June 2019

Survey: Half of Americans Use the Pool as a 'Communal Bathtub' - June 2019

NFL Foundation Helps to Advance Youth Wellness - June 2019

Youth Sports Participation Holds Steady in 2018 - June 2019

Dog Parks Still on the Rise - May 2019

USA Swimming Grants Will Boost Learn-to-Swim Programs - May 2019

IHRSA: One in Five Americans Belong to at Least One Health Club - May 2019

New Program Aims to Grow Pickleball & Tennis - May 2019

IHRSA Reports on Health Club Compensation - April 2019

Grant Funding Brings Parks Closer to People in 10 Cities - April 2019

Note & Float Program Reaches Lifesaving Milestone - April 2019

Fund Established to Assist Aspiring Women Coaches - April 2019

Applications Open for ESPN RePlay Program - April 2019

NRPA Offers Play Space Grants - March 2019

Smarter Lifeguard Management - March 2019

U.S. Soccer Foundation Aims to Boost Female Participation - March 2019

In Oregon, Outdoor Recreation Saves $1.4 Billion in Healthcare Costs - March 2019

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NSPF, APSP Unite to Form Pool & Hot Tub Alliance - February 2019

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