SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska


Federal grant boosts mentors in four school districts


October 15, 2007

Two nonprofit organizations are teaming up to expand adult mentoring for young students in four Alaska school districts, thanks to a grant from the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Safe and Drug-Free Schools.

The $237,000 grant enables the Association of Alaska School Boards and Big Brothers Big Sisters to address the academic and social needs of children in 4th through 8th grades in the Ketchikan Gateway, Alaska Gateway, Delta-Greely and Dillingham school districts.

"This is an exciting opportunity to boost the academic and social success of students with the greatest need," said Carl Rose, executive director of AASB. "We know that when adults take an active and positive interest in kids, they improve in school and in their relationships with peers, teachers and family members."

Big Brothers Big Sisters served more than 740 students in school-based mentoring programs in Alaska last year. The one-to-one program matched caring adults and high school volunteers with youth in grades K-8, usually once a week during the school year, in 30 different communities.

"We know from national research that volunteers can make a lasting impact on children matched in our school-based programs," said Peggy Owens, chief executive officer of Big Brothers Big Sisters. "But the demand for volunteers is always greater than the supply of kids who need us. Hopefully, this grant will enable more adults to get involved in the lives of children in their community."

Under the new grant, BBBS will partner with the four school districts to obtain parental permission for the students to participate, recruit and screen all mentors and provide on-going supervision. AASB will serve as the lead administrative agency and be responsible for training mentors in an asset-based curriculum.

The grant will fund an independent study of the effectiveness of mentoring relationships in the four districts. The grant will be funded for one year with an option for two additional years.


Source of News:

Alaska Department of Education


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Stories In The News
Ketchikan, Alaska