Alton High School Creates Mentoring Program for At-Risk Students (02/07)

posted Feb 7, 2011, 8:11 AM by Cheryle Kennelly

Alton High School has started a mentoring program for students identified by parent, self, or teachers.  Referrals are made based on high office discipline referrals, targeting African American males due to high rate of referrals in that population, and sometimes socially isolated, quiet children.   The intervention put in place consists of a mentor being matched with the referred youth.  Mentors are students, community members, or school staff.  The mentor attends training, are asked to connect with their mentee for at least 15 minutes a week, and participate in group mentor-mentee activities.  Most mentors report spending much more time with their mentee than 15 minutes. 

Outcomes for the students who are in the program include improved school attendance, improved academic achievement, improved school behavior, decreased drug and alcohol use, and improved positive relationships.  A student was referred as a freshman and was absent 4 out of 5 days per week.  As a junior, and having been involved with a mentor since his freshman year, he now is occasionally tardy to school.  Another student received office discipline referrals on a daily basis, was referred to the program in October of 2006, and now has had two ODR’s since 12/18/06.  The next steps of the mentoring program are to expand to the Middle School as well as have all mentees become mentors.