South Orangetown Central School District

The #SOCSDMentorMonday Facebook campaign highlights community members who directly mentor students on a sustained, voluntary basis through our schools. Through their dedicated volunteerism, mentors offer students meaningful opportunities to explore interests and career pathways–and to develop real world job skills.

Cottage Lane Elementary School Garden Mentor Sabina Tyler started volunteering eight years ago in the Tappan Zee Elementary School Garden before moving over to CLE. “As a chef, I like to see fresh fruit and vegetables on plates and what better way to do that than growing them yourself?” she says. “I want kids to understand that they can grow their own vegetables and eat healthy, if they choose to as they get older. The most rewarding thing about mentoring is seeing the kids taste things that they would never try anywhere else but the garden and liking them and being excited about REAL food.”

“Having students come into the garden ties into the fourth grade science unit on plants and the ecosystem,” explains CLE fourth grade teacher Jennifer Grennan. “In the fall, fourth-graders harvest and taste what was planted by fourth-graders the year before. Then, we start planting seeds in containers during the winter, then transplant them in the spring. Students have a chance to see the whole cycle, from seed to harvest, and we do another round of tastings in the spring.”

The #SOCSDMentorMonday campaign will extend throughout the spring. Interested in mentoring students in your field of expertise? Contact Family Engagement Center Coordinator AJ Walker at

Mentor Sabina Tyler handing student a plant in garden bed