PES Mentoring Program Matched Over 40 Students with Trained Mentors
Providence Elementary School (PES) was honored this week by Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) for its mentoring program with the Blue Ribbon Mentoring Program Award at the Celebrate Partnerships award ceremony at the Mason Inn at George Mason University. The award was presented to PES principal Jesse Kraft, Sarah Rupp, PES school counselor and mentor program coordinator, and Bissan Alnaji, guidance counselor.
Working with employees at companies such as Apple Federal Credit Union and Your Recruiting Company Inc, PES has matched students with trained volunteers since 2005. The mentors commit to one hour per week with each student, assisting with homework or discussing every day challenges students face.
According to Principal Kraft, the mentoring program is working.
“It is more than a feel-good endeavor,” says Kraft. “Students with mentees see improvements on the Citizenship and Study Skills section of their progress reports and we see discipline referrals or behavior issues decrease for these students over the course of the year. It works!”
According to the non-profit research center Child Trends, students participating in mentoring programs had better attendance, a better chance of going on to higher education, better attitudes towards school and reduced negative youth behaviors. *
“Sarah Rupp and Bissan Alnaji coordinate the exemplary mentor program at Providence Elementary School,” said Shelley Prince, FCPS MentorWorks Specialist. “With the support of Principal Kraft, Sarah and Bissan adhere to Best Practices. Their attention to program details combined with the dedication of business, community and school system volunteers results in an extraordinary program that benefits all participants and is model for others.”
* Child Trends Research Brief, Mentoring: A Promising Strategy for Youth Development http://www.childtrends.org/Files/MentoringBrief2002.pdf