Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2013, $1,991,803)
Communities In Schools (CIS) will deliver school-based mentoring services to 1,650 at-risk youth. The two overarching goals of the proposed project are to reduce high school dropout rates of at-risk youth and build the capacity of the CIS network to create effective mentoring matches. CIS will engage 11 affiliates in the states of California, Delaware, Florida, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas and Washington to identify high-school aged youth who are at-risk of dropping out of school and deliver a combined approach of one-on-one and group mentoring services. Affiliates identified in the proposal work in schools with an average graduation rate of 74.8% and provide services to a diverse set of at-risk students, with some schools serving 98% African American, others serving 84% Hispanic, and an average of 95% eligible for free/reduced lunch. In addition to relationships with trained, committed mentors, at-risk youth will benefit from the CIS Model of Integrated Student Services. CIS will utilize existing partnerships with juvenile justice agencies, school districts and other community service providers to identify students who are most at-risk for dropping out of school and being involved in the criminal justice system. CIS Site Coordinators will provide case management to mentored youth, linking them to community resources such as tutoring, counseling, health and medical care. In addition, CIS will incorporate enhanced, research-based strategies into mentoring programs including structured activities focused on college-career readiness and STEM learning, support to mentors, and parent engagement. Technical assistance and training based upon the Elements of Effective Mentoring will be delivered throughout the grant period to Mentor Coordinators, Site Coordinators and volunteer mentors.