FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What is my role as a mentor?

● As a mentor, you are creating and building a sustainable and positive relationship between you and your mentee.

● Your role is primarily that of a role model and/or “big brother/sister” with the same ethnic background as your mentee. You are not to be strictly a culture or language teacher, but a role model with a passion to foster a valuable friendship with your mentee.

● You are not obligated to only raise cultural awareness within your mentee, but to become his/ her friend.

● Since your mentor was adopted internationally, we would like for you to promote your mentee’s knowledge and interest in their original language and culture in a fun and appropriate manner. This is mostly achieved through weekly one-on-one one to three hour interaction sessions, which we hope will allow you to provide an informal and fun environment for your mentee as well as through group social events hosted by C-CAMP, Cornell University, and the Ithaca community.

● Even if your mentee isn’t interested in learning about their native language or culture, it’s still extremely valuable for him/her to have that connection with you, a successful Cornell student.

What are the expectations for being a mentor? 

1.  Mentors are expected to attend C-CAMP events if their mentee is attending. C-CAMP events include bowling at Helen Newman and a winter party in the fall semester and a Valentine’s Day event, Cultural Fair, and End-of-the-Year Picnic in the spring semester.

2.  It is up to the mentor to initially reach out to his/her family after being paired.

3.  Mentors must attend at least one mandatory training session.

4.  Be sure to sign-in at all meetings and events.

5. Mentors are strongly encouraged to attend all socials.

6. It is the mentor’s responsibility to report any problems or concerns with his/her pairing situation to either the mentee’s parent(s) or C-CAMP E-board.

7. Mentors are expected to respond to all pairing evaluations and surveys sent from the C-CAMP email in a timely manner.

What are some cultural tips in terms of cultural integration?

The majority of the children in C-CAMP are of a different ethnicity than that of their adoptive parents.  Mentors should discuss with the parents how the child feels about their native culture, what the child knows about their native culture, and what both the child and parent would like the mentor to teach the child (especially in terms of language).  Some children may be very open to learning about their native culture, while other children may feel more uncomfortable with it.  It is important to cater your style to these individual differences.  If the child is uncomfortable, take the time to bond with him/her first.  After you have developed a relationship with the child, gradually introduce a few basic cultural or language teachings into the meetings.  DO NOT formally try to tutor the child about a culture of language.  Allow the child to take the lead in what aspects of the culture they are interested in learning more about, and base cultural teachings on the child’s desires and questions.
See if the mentee is interested in attending cultural events on campus and explain some of the cultural traditions and practices associated with the events.  For example, a Chinese mentor can take his/her mentee to see a traditional Chinese dance show and then teach the mentee some of the dance moves.  Many of the children have acknowledge that they enjoy watching people, who look similar to themselves, doing interesting activities.

If the mentee is interested in cultural cuisine, bring him/her to an ethnic restaurant or prepare a traditional meal with him/her.  Explain the ingredients and cultural significance behind the food.  However, be sure to have parental permission in doing so.
There are many cultural crafts that are kid-friendly (paper lanterns, origami, etc.), which can be found online. This is a great way to incorporate culture into familiar tasks, especially for children, who are not as open or out-going.  There are also cultural games and storybooks available online, but make sure that they are age-appropriate.  You may also share stories of your experiences in the child’s native country.   
The best way to incorporate linguistic teachings into a meeting with a mentee is through engaging in ordinary activities.  During the process, point out basic actions or nouns and teach them to say the words in another language.  In addition, be sure to greet and thank your mentee in their native language.   
Ask the child if he/she is interested in learning to write his/her name and assist him/her in doing so.  You may also teach them to write a few other basic words if they are interested.

One of the most significant struggles that many of the children may face is understanding their racial/ethnic identity.  If the subject comes up or you feel the time is appropriate, it may be helpful to share some of your own stories and experiences of assimilation or balancing your native and American culture.  You may also give them tips on how to overcome some obstacles that they may face.

What are the C-CAMP sponsored events that occur during the year?

Fall Semester:

● Bowling at Helen Newman: Usually held in October. This is a very low-key event where mentors, mentees, and families get to meet each other for the first time in the new school year. It’s a really great chance to get to know your mentee, the other mentees, meet the E-Board, and the parents. Friendly competitions include bowling against your mentee and mentor-mentee pairs against each other.

● Cultural Fair: An EXCITING new event usually held in October/ November. This is a new endeavor that is similar to Asia Night but advertised for Ithaca schools and families. 20 Cultural booths, performances, story-telling, crafts, games, face-painting, henna, food, and more are all jam-packed into this 3 hour event. More than 150-200 people are expected to come.

● Taste of Culture: Usually held in November. Taste of Culture is a 2-hour event held by the Language Pairing Program (LPP) and the Translator Interpreter Program (TIP) in which cultural organizations from around campus come together to share their own ethnic dishes for the public and students to taste. CCAMP E-board members must be present at this event. Mentors and mentees are more than welcome to participate in this event.

● Winter Party: Usually held in December. This is a more fun event where CCAMP mentors, mentees, and families can participate in a more formal but fun environment. The party is winter-themed with themed activities, games, music, laughing, and playing.

Spring Semester:

● Valentine’s Day Event: Usually held the Saturday after Valentine’s Day. This event is extremely popular amongst CCAMP families. Kids love to make Vday crafts, participate in games, watch a cultural group perform, decorate cookies/ cupcakes, and meet other CCAMP families. It’s great fun.

● Taste of Culture: Usually held in April.

● End of the Year Picnic: Usually held in early May before finals. This is a great way to end the year and temporarily say goodbye to your mentees before the summer. The picnic is normally located at Stewart Park right by the lake. Frisbee, basketball, jump-rope, and other games are played by the kids and mentors.

Mentor-Exclusive Activities:

● Mandatory Training sessions (1 in the Fall and 1 in the Spring)

● Socials

● End of the Semester/ Year dinners

What are some suggested activities that I should engage with my mentor/ mentee?

Here are a list of activities that you and your mentee might be interested in participating. Remember to keep in mind your mentee’s age and deciding on an age-appropriate activity! Also, you can meet up with other mentor-mentee pairs.

● Climb the Clock Tower: schedule and times found here: http://chimes.cornell.edu/schedule.php

● Visit the Johnson Museum: http://museum.cornell.edu/calendar/all

● Attend the Hilltop Jamboree, Relay for Life, other events at Barton Hall.

● Attend Pao Bhangra, Yamatai, Breakfree, Absolute Zero, other performance group performances.

● Attend Acapella performances.

● Meet up at Stewart Park, Buttermilk Falls, the Plantations (ask the parents to drive you if you don’t have easy access).

● Have an impromptu picnic on the slope.

● Play a soccer game, Frisbee, basketball, etc with your mentee on campus.

● Go Ice skating with your mentee on Sundays at 9 pm (may be a little late).

● Visit the Olin, Uris, Mann libraries (play hide and go seek in the stacks with other mentor-mentee pairs).

● Visit RPCC, Appel, Risley, somewhere that your mentee has not been before.

● Visit the Noyes Recreational Center.

● Go get froyo.

● Visit the Brain Display in Uris Hall.

● Go to the Cornell Cinema and watch a movie: http://cinema.cornell.edu

● Attend C-CAMP events.

● Attend campus-wide events: http://events.cornell.edu

o   Narrow down your search using the categories on the right column

● Ask your mentee’s parents about their school events.

● Visit the Science Center: http://www.sciencenter.org

● Visit the Museum of the Earth: http://www.museumoftheearth.org

● Visit the Commons.

● Go to your mentee’s house if that’s what the parents prefer.

● Go to Applefest, Chilifest, Winter Festival in the Commons.

● Go to Waffle frolic and other fun, but inexpensive, places to eat!

● Go visit the Farmer’s Market with your mentee’s family.

● Go visit other places in Ithaca that your mentee’s parents might know about.

● You can always ask your mentee’s parents what events they recommend going to particularly in Ithaca. Certain events will be highlighted via email or on the website too.

C-Camp

  • Official Website
  • Event Calendar

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