Mentor coordinators to double statewide

By Amy Cherry 5:42am, September 17, 2013
Connecting Generations gets a $187,000 grant to build up mentoring programs in schools in New Castle and Kent Counties.

WDEL's Amy Cherry has more.

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The money will be put towards 15 new mentor coordinators or AmeriCorps Youth Ambassadors, who are matched with needy students.

Tara Wiggins directs the program.

"The majority of students have low test scores, and then they're coming from low social economic backgrounds, so those are the students in the school that we're really focusing on," says Wiggins.

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Schools without mentor coordinators often turn to vice principals, lunch ladies or even parent volunteers, who can only offer a few hours a week or a month. For those schools, this will be a big boost.

"Having a dedicated mentor coordinator allows them to have someone they can reach out to, somebody to seek support from, whether they're hearing if their student needs a little more assistance in math, and their mentor coordinator is helping to find math activities for them," she explains.

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The mentoring the coordinators help provide is effective. Studies show more than 80 percent of students with mentors improve their academic scores and more than half improve their attendance records.

The AmeriCorps Youth Ambassadors will begin work October 1st through the grant from the Corporation for National and Community Service.

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