Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2011, $238,797)
The Mentoring for Youth with Disabilities Initiative builds upon the foundation of evidence-based practices for effective mentoring and encourages communities to implement and enhance mentoring programs for youth with disabilities. These mentoring efforts will integrate best practices and proven principles into mentoring service models, including efforts to systematically recruit, train, and support mentors in their efforts to encourage individual youth to maximize personal strengths and to develop compensatory skills in specific areas of disability. This program authorized by the Department of Defense and Full-Year Continuing Appropriations Act, 2011, Pub. L. 112-110.
Clinton Community School District (CCSD) under the oversight of the Clinton Community Governance Board (CCGB) proposes to deliver the Soar to Success mentoring program to 75 elementary school-aged youth with disabilities over three years. During the first two years, CCSD will target youth who have a level one Individualized Education Plan (IEP) (students with a mild disability that respond well to accommodations in the general education curriculum) or a level two IEP (students that participate in the general education curriculum less than 80% of the day and receive direct instruction from a certified Special Education instructor). During the third year, CCSD may expand to youth with level three IEPs (students who have more severe disabilities and receive highly specialized instruction for the majority of the day). The key activities under this project include: (1) providing a minimum of 1.5 hours per week of mentor-mentee contact for a minimum of 24 months; (2) preparing highly trained mentors by equipping them with the skill sets and support systems necessary to work effectively with special needs children; (3) providing mentors and mentees with structured and monitored activities by integrating Soar to Success participants with special needs into the District's Afterschool Adventures and Summer Enrichment Programs; and (4) facilitating linkage of parents of special needs children to state and local support services that can advocate for their child. Performance will be measured by annual standardized academic testing, monthly classroom grades, monthly CCSD disciplinary data, and annual social behavior scales assessment.