This program places eleven full-time AmeriCorps members in each of ten Routt County schools. All members have a college degree and complete a competitive application process. They are screened, trained, carefully placed and supervised to provide mentoring and tutoring to 8-10 “at-risk target” students. Participating students have been identified by school teachers, counselors, and administrators. The qualifying criteria is similar to the Community-Based Mentoring Program. Mentors spend a minimum of one hour a week with each target student and they assist with academics, social-emotional issues, and making good decisions. They also plan and implement weekly in-school and after-school programs and service learning opportunities for target students and all other students.
Expected results for School-Based Mentoring include: increased school-bonding, increased adult-bonding, increased self-esteem, improved social and communication skills, improved decision making skills, improved academic performance, improved goal-setting skills, decreased delinquency, and increased perceived risk of use of Alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs.
Measurable Outcomes: Mentoring Works!
During the 2012-2013 school year, AmeriCorps School-Based Mentors gave 2,250 hours of one-to-one mentoring to target students and offered 339 hours of safe, fun, and constructive after-school programming to the students of Routt County. Target students reported increased adult bonding to a statistically significant level, and increased self-esteem to level approaching significance.
School faculty and staff see the impact of the School-Based Mentoring program every day. When asked how the one-to-one component meets the needs of their school, the response was overwhelmingly positive:
“The students get individualized adult attention. It is invaluable to take care of the social-emotional needs of our students. Classroom teachers do not have time to deal on a daily basis.”
“The one-on-one time is extremely valuable. It gives the mentors the chance to bond with their target student’s in ways that cannot be achieved in a classroom setting. Many times this allows the student to be in an environment that is distraction free and they become more industrious and get more work done and turned in – a win-win for the students and the staff.”
Routt County schools appreciate the after-school programming offered by AmeriCorps School-Based Mentors as well:
“Helps kids to build self-esteem, express academic and personal needs, and connect with someone at the school who does not give them grades.”
“Students who lack home support are able to reinforce and practice skills they have learned at school. They are successfully able to complete homework and have a sense of accomplishment and success they were lacking. Plus, it’s great for them academically!”