Today more than ever, teenagers rely on school to provide guidance and support to face modern-day challenges, and that’s why the Menachem Education Foundation (MEF) teamed up with Mrs. Dena Gorkin to launch the Mechaneches Training Program for the coming school year.

As the Rebbe often noted, in the past the school’s purview was limited to teaching material whereas everything else was up to the home, but in today’s world that is no longer the case. The teachers, principals, counselors and Mashpiim/os who spend hours with students each day are the front line for meeting students’ social, emotional, and spiritual needs, and they need real tools in order to best fill that role.

The Mechaneches Training Program aims to empower educators with the ability to meet students’ non-academic needs, especially the designated “Mechaneches,” Shlucha, or Mashpiah in each school. Through monthly webinars presented by Mrs. Gorkin as well as mental health and other professionals, combined with individualized mentoring and follow up, educators can explore the range of social-emotional and other needs that students have and how to best serve them. Covering topics ranging from how to form a kesher with your students, to crisis identification and intervention, the objective of this program is simple: that every student receives the attention and help that she needs in her formative years.

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Mrs. Gorkin quotes from the Frierdiker Rebbe’s Klalei Chinuch V’hadracha to underscore the need for such a program. There, it is explained that someone who takes on the role of education and guidance has such a tremendous responsibility, because there is the potential to have a profoundly positive effect, and r”l the opposite.

“In order to ensure that we can continue to have that positive impact,” says Mrs. Gorkin, “it is so important to keep learning new and better ways, Al Taharas Hakodesh, to understand and guide our students. This is especially important today when we see so many kids who are floundering.”

The overwhelmingly positive response among teachers and principals so far reflects the awareness that Mechanchos have of their students’ growing and varied needs, and their eagerness for new tools and strategies to better meet them.

Only 18 educators will be joining this program, based on their potential to positively impact their schools and students.

Interested applicants can read the full program details here, and fill out this application form Further inquiries can be directed to MEF at [email protected] / 718-663-7215.

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