To help students form meaningful adult-child relationships and to further the District’s goal of ensuring that every child graduates 100 percent college ready and 100 percent college bound, CPS today launched Mentoring the Next Generation: Chicago’s Children
This year’s program will focus on students in Kindergarten and Grade 8 – those who are just beginning their academic journey and those who are preparing for the important transition to high school. Volunteer mentors will act as role models and will work with students on foundational literacy skills
“By connecting our staff with our students and schools across the District, we remain steadfast in our commitment to providing all students with the tools they need to be successful,” said CPS CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett.
Research has shown that engaging in positive adult-child relationships can have a significant impact on student performance. The adult mentors who will participate in this program come from CPS Central Office and the Network Offices, and will receive specialized training from the Office of Early Childhood Education and the Office of Literacy. The mentors will be given materials and scripted lessons, and will work collaboratively with classroom teachers on how best to support student learning.
Mentoring sessions are set to begin in January 2014, with mentors visiting their assigned schools on a weekly basis and spending approximately one hour with either two Kindergarten students or one eighth-grade student. For those CPS employees who do not spend their days in schools, this is an opportunity to add a personal dimension to the work they do each day on behalf of Chicago’s children.
It is the hope of CEO Byrd-Bennett that these will become long-term relationships, with Kindergarten mentors supporting their students through third grade and Grade 8 mentors helping guide students through their high school years.
“All students need mentors and positive role models to advocate for them and support their success,” said CEO Byrd-Bennett. “I strongly encourage this endeavor that will help build the solid literacy skills and the positive adult engagement that are essential to the foundation of a promising future for all students.”