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Kickball and Cupcakes Cap Off Another Successful Year of Meadowlark Mentoring

By May 23, 2024News

The 2023-24 school year marked the fourth year of UCLI’s mentoring program with Mr. John Arthur’s 6th grade class at Meadowlark Elementary. Meadowlark is located in the Rose Park neighborhood on the west side of Salt Lake City. This is one of the oldest and most rewarding programs UCLI has been involved in. The program grew out of necessity during the pandemic. Mr. Arthur, or “Captain” as his students affectionately refer to him, noticed a need to help his students to remain engaged and on pace during the remote learning period of the early COVID-19 pandemic. He turned to his good friend Melina Shiraldi, who is an attorney in the Salt Lake City US Attorney’s office. Together they developed the idea to bring attorneys into the classroom via Zoom to mentor students with their writing skills. The program was immediately effective and popular.

The program was so successful that Mr. Arthur decided to continue it after his students returned to the classroom. UCLI has been partnering with the class ever since. On most Fridays during the school year, 20-30 attorneys Zoom into the classroom to help students improve their creative and persuasive writing skills. In the past few years attorney mentors have also taken the opportunity to visit the classroom, or to have the class visit their law firm offices. Last year’s class was also lucky enough to visit the Utah Supreme Court and meet several of the Justices.

This year was no different. The mentoring was successful and enjoyable for all involved. The year’s mentoring ended in mid-May with a kickball and cupcake party. Mentors were able to help students craft the perfect message for their Mothers Day cards. The group then had cupcakes and donuts and enjoyed a rousing game of kickball where the mentors faced off against the mentees.

UCLI is grateful for Mr. Arthur and his wonderful students. This truly is one of the most rewarding programs. The next round of mentoring will begin in the Fall with the 2024-25 school year. If you are interested in participating as a mentor please contact UCLI Associate Director, Jon Wayas, .

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