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
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
"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
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.
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