Building Effective Peer Mentoring Programs in Schools: An Introductory Guide

  • Description of Resource:

    Cross-age peer mentoring programs, in which older youth befriend and mentor younger children in a structured environment, are an increasingly popular choice for educators and youth development professionals hoping to create positive outcomes for youth. This guide provides recommendations for program design; participant recruitment, screening and selection; training; and match activities, as well as planning tools for program coordinators.


    To equip program coordinators with information to plan and implement effective cross-age peer mentoring programs for youth in schools.

    Target Population/Eligibility of Target Sites:

    Peer mentoring programs in school settings.

    Corresponding Elements of Effective Practice:


    Key Personnel:

    Mentoring Program Coordinators

    Additional Information:

    It is important to be aware that research indicates peer mentoring programs require supplemental supports in order to achieve effectiveness comparable to adult programs (Herrera et al., 2007). These supports may include, but are not necessarily limited to, enhanced forms of mentor screening and training as well as relatively more frequent and intensive ongoing supervision and problem-solving assistance for mentoring relationships once established. This Guide includes a number of recommendations for practices and safeguards of this nature. However, it should be noted that these generally have not been evaluated in research. Those considering implementation of a peer mentoring program are advised to consult the review of research on one-to-one cross-age peer mentoring that is available on this website.

    This publication was funded by the Office of Safe and Drug-Free Schools at the U.S. Department of Education with EMT Associates, Inc.

  • Resource Name:

    Building Effective Peer Mentoring Programs in Schools: An Introductory Guide


    Mentoring Resource Center, Education Northwest


    Michael Garringer and Patti MacRae

    Date of Publication:


    Resource Type:

    Program Management Resources

  • Evaluation Methodology:

    Resource has not been evaluated for effectiveness

    Evaluation Outcomes:

    Resource has not been evaluated for effectiveness

    Evaluation Validity:

    Resource has not been evaluated for effectiveness

  • Accessing and Using this Resource:

    This resource can be accessed freely online on Education Northwest’s website:

  • References:

    Evidence Base: N/A

    Additional References: N/A

School-Based Peer Mentoring

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