The 2017-18 Partners School-Based Mentoring Program (SBM) will provide five full-time AmeriCorps members and five part-time mentors to nine Routt County schools.  All mentors will be screened and trained prior to school placements. Partner’s Program Manager and staff provides mentor support, supervision and case management. The mentors provide guidance, support and tutoring to each of their 10 target students whose qualifying criteria include low income, victims of abuse or neglect, familial incarceration, substance abuse, etc.  Additionally, the SBMs may also work with non-target students, implement in-school and after-school clubs and activities.  Providing this positive support allows students the opportunity to focus on academics, increase school performance and engagement, all of which contributes to higher graduation rates, college preparedness and/or seeking post-secondary education.

The core activities for this “mentoring model” intervention strategy focus on increasing adult bonding. To this end, members spend a minimum of one hour, one-on-one, each week with their target students, for the duration of the school year. This model emphasizes time spent with target students to check in on attendance, grades, and to connect via intentional activities focused on the social-emotional aspects of students’ lives.  Individual Mentoring Plans are developed collaboratively between the mentor and target student which includes three SMART goals, three corresponding Developmental Assets, and three corresponding activities. Target students, and other students, are encouraged to participate in SBMP weekly in-school and after-school recreational, life skill, and service learning programming. Examples from year’s past include Lunch Bunch, Strong and Smart Sisterhood (SASS), Culture Club, the Writing/Drama Club, and Get Out Around Town (GOAT).

Program Objectives

 Target students will experience:

  • Increased school-bonding, adult bonding, attendance, and academic performance
  • Increased self-esteem
  • Improved decision making skills
  • Improved social and communication skills
  • Decreased delinquency and behavioral referrals
  • Improved Goal Setting Skills
  • Increased Perceived Risk of use of alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs (ATOD)

Mentors will experience:

  • Specialized experience in programming and working with at-risk youth
  • Increased knowledge of public school structure and non-profit management
  • Transferable and/or varied professional development and service experience

Joe helping with homework

Megan helping with homework

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!”

For more information, contact Cait Bambenek at 970-879-6141 ext. 306 or