In August 2009, Partners added a new School Based Mentoring Program. The program is a joint venture between Partners and Poudre School District, with the goal of placing youth in a positive mentoring relationship that will help them build personal assets and protective factors, leading to good choices and decreased negative behaviors.
The School Based Program was piloted at Rocky Mountain High School for the 2009-2010 school year. Graduate social work students at Colorado State University were placed in Rocky to provide one-to-one mentoring services to students who were facing significant challenges in their social, academic, and/or personal lives. Students were referred to the program by school counselors and social workers.
A School Based Partner spends a minimum of one hour each week with the youth and commits for the entire school year. Partners spend time together doing various activities that help them build a relationship with one another. Activities could include: eating lunch, playing games, attending a school club or activity, shooting hoops, working on art projects, listening to music and just hanging out and talking. All activities take place on school grounds either during or after school.
For the 2010 to 2011 school year, the School Based Program will be expanding into Blevins Middle School and Olander Elementary. Our goal is to serve at total of 50 students at all three sites. We will again be utilizing social work students from CSU, as well as, training community members to become School Based Partners.
School Based Mentoring Works!
By matching youth with a school based mentor, they have someone to provide additional support, be a positive role model, and a friend. Research shows that after being matched with a mentor for the entire school year, youth:
• Improved their overall academic performance (quality of class work and number of assignments turned in)
• Reduced their school infractions (skipping and dropping out)
• Are more likely to attend and finish college
• Have stronger and more consistent relationships
School Based Partners are required to pass a thorough screening process, have consistent access to a vehicle, have a current driver's license and proof of auto insurance, have been a resident of the state of Colorado for six months and be at least 20 years old.