Zoo-Mates is one of the Center for Community Engagement's signature programs. This innovative mentoring program is a partnership between the CCE, Cincinnati Public Schools, and the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden, in which 30 UC students are matched with 30 children experiencing homelessness for a year-long mentoring relationship.
Zoo-Mates has kicked off its 8th school year, starting with mentor training at the Cincinnati Zoo in October. Keep up with the Zoo-Mates program through the Zoo-Mates Facebook page.
Zoo-Mates meet every other Tuesday from 2:30p - 4:30p at the Zoo, the childrens' school, or the University of Cincinnati for organized programming. Opportunities at the Zoo could include visiting behind the scenes at the elephant house, a cat show, an animal handling demonstration, and more.
Mentors and children share experiences at a variety of other planned programs ranging from board games at the childrens' school to an afternoon at a museum! This is a great opportunity to build a meaningful relationship with a child, make an impact on someone's life, and enjoy one of Cincinnati's treasures: the Zoo!
If Zoo-Mates seems like the program for you, consider applying to be a mentor. Application information is updated on this website as soon as it becomes available, and "Liking" Zoo-Mates on Facebook will also keep you in the loop with the application cycle.
If you'd like to get started mentoring now, stop by the Center for Community Engagement (Map) and ask about mentoring opportunities.