Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2010, $300,000)
The SS/HS Initiative is a joint effort by the U.S. Departments of Education, Health and Human Services, and Justice to support schools and communities in creating safer and healthier learning environments. This solicitation invites current Safe Schools/Healthy Student grantees to develop proposals that will increase the capacity of their SS/HS collaborations to develop and implement community-based mentoring programs or to expand and enhance existing mentoring programs and strategies. This program advances the provision of integrated resources for prevention and early intervention services for children and youth by supporting effective evidence-based mentoring services to young people who are underserved. The intent of this program is to demonstrate new mentoring efforts or to expand existing mentoring efforts that work in concert with a grantees SS/HS comprehensive plan.
The Newton Partnership (TNP), a SS/HS funded project of the Newton (MA) Public Schools, consists of more than a dozen agencies working together to support healthy development for children by (1) providing direct services, and (2) improving community collaboration. TNP will expand its current mentoring programs, which serve 160 at-risk K-12 students, to include 50 new mentoring matches, targeting children in grades 4-8 who have been bullied or have bullied, in a community-based mentoring model. At least 15 mentees will be children with special education needs. Goals are to: (1) implement evidence-based practices in order to create positive mentoring relationships that will decrease the incidence of bullying; (2) increase community collaboration about mentoring, including joint mentor recruitment, retention, and training. TNP will work collaboratively with the Boys and Girls Club of Newton; the program will fully reside with the Club by the end of the grant period. Extensive training will be offered to the new mentors as well as to the existing mentors of partnering mentor programs. The program will feature innovative group activities. A comprehensive program evaluation by a third-party evaluator will ensure that the project meets reporting requirements and will enable continuous quality improvement.