Lunch Buddy Program - North Clackamas Schools

by North Clackamas Education Foundation

The Lunch Buddy program has hit the ground running this fall.  We are starting the school year with 12 new adult volunteer mentors and 59 returning adult volunteer mentors.  We are working through the process of getting all of the pairs started this Fall.  

This year we have added volunteers at 3 schools that have previously not had Lunch Buddy volunteers.  This number includes 1 middle school in the district.  We are now up to 16 schools that we serve.  

Last year we were able to match 86 students with Lunch Buddy mentors and, at this rate, we will far exceed that number this year. 

After a banner year for the North Clackamas Lunch Buddy program, we are on a sumemr hiatus along with the students.  We will return for our 22nd year on Tuesday, September 8th, 2015.  We look forward to matching our wonderful volunteers with deserving North Clackamas students.  After evaluation this year, the program has shown to reduce trips to the principals office, increase self esteem and improve relationships among students.  All of these things help make a student feel more connected to their school and, therefore, make the effort to get there each day.  

If you would like to become a Lunch Buddy mentor, please visit for more information.


At this time in the year, the Lunch Buddy coordinator has stopped making new Buddy matches since there is only a short bit of time left in the school year.  We will start with new matches again in September when the new school year begins.  We ended the year with 82 meaningful Lunch Buddy pairs.  The pairs have spent time this year playing board games, playing on the playground, reading together, doing craft projects and eating lunch together, among other things. Problems have been solved, peer relationships have been strengthened, school work has improved and trips to the principal's office have decreased.  It has been a successful year all around. To celebrate our great year, the program coordinator is busily preparing for the end of year celebration held in late May.   This is a great wrap up party where the adults and the students get to spend a couple of hours enjoying time together outside of their school.

Saturday, June 20th, is the 6th Annual Mike Nelson Memorial Golf Party benefitting the Lunch Buddy program.  This is a fun day of golf and a delicous barbecue lunch at the beautiful Resort at the Mountain golf course in Welches, OR. 

The Lunch Buddy program office closes in mid-June and reopens when school starts in early September.

The Lunch Buddy program has been working hard to get all new Buddies screened, trained and introduced to their students.  There has been a steady stream of new adult volunteers interested in the program since school started again in September.  

In December the program coordinator finished a complete Policies and Procedures manual for the program.  This was a year long process  done in conjunction with the Quality Based Mentoring program training through Oregon Mentors.  This will be a great resource for the program and for District personnel going forward.

Spring is always a busy time for the Lunch Buddy program.  There are usually quite a few new volunteer mentors at the beginning of the year plus it is time to start initial planning for the year end program celebration (held in late May) as well as the Mike Nelson Memorial Golf Party which benefits the program (held in mid-June).

The Lunch Buddy Program started off the school in early September.  The program coordinator is currently working on getting all of the Buddy pairs that wanted to be re-matched started again and simultaneously working on making great matches for past and new adult Lunch Buddy volunteers.  There are currently 65 Lunch Buddy pairs and 4 adults going through the application, screening and placement process.

The Lunch Buddy coordinator is continuing to work towards achieving the Quality Based Mentoring program designation from Oregon Mentors.  This should be completed in the near future.  This has been an intensive process where the entire program was examined and improved upon, where necessary.  We are now current on all site based mentoring program best practices.  We also have a comprehensive policies and procedures manual to help guide us.


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Organization Information

North Clackamas Education Foundation

Location: Clackamas, OR - USA
Website: http:/​/​
North Clackamas Education Foundation
Project Leader:
Olivia Thomas
Executive Director
Milwaukie, OR United States

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