Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2021, $603,871)
Growing Kings provides innovative mentoring and enrichment services to underserved males through its school-based program model, Journey of a King; and mentor recruitment and training program, All the King’s Men. Journey of a King is Growing Kings’ preventive approach to reducing unhealthy behaviors with an emphasis on opioid use and abuse. Journey of a King is a series of three group-based, structured mentoring programs offered to at-risk male students in the 4th-12th grades. As a result of the program model’s design, students are provided with the opportunity to participate in nine years of comprehensive programming. These programs are designed to improve students’ academic, behavioral, and societal outcomes. Journey of a King operates within ‘continuums’ based on a high school feeder pattern. Each continuum engages 250 students enrolled across three elementary schools, two middle schools, and one high school. Each program within the series operates with its own distinct curriculum that is relevant in content and delivery methodology. The Journey of a King program series includes: Prince Charming (4th-5th grade) with a focus on literacy and mathematics. Measures of a Man (6th-8th grade) with a focus on character development, violence prevention, and self-efficacy. Scholars & Gentlemen (9th-12th grade) with a focus on masculinity, cultural identity, and career readiness. All the King’s Men is an innovative mentor recruitment and training program designed to teach highly effective techniques and practices that equips qualified men with the tools needed to be successful at implementing the organization’s various program curricula. This training combines theoretical approaches illustrated in the Elements of Effective Practice for Mentoring to ensure that mentors are knowledgeable of the best ways to empower male youth to be catalysts of change. Growing Kings’ work will enhance the educational, emotional, and social experiences of the young people it serves.