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How does the federal government support our public schools? When I first met Chris, he was quiet—I could tell he was trying to figure out who I was, and who I could be in his life. The stories I heard about Chris did not align with the boy in front of me. I was told he was constantly removed from class and referred to the office. In fact, he had 60 such referrals in the first semester of school. Chris is not an anomaly—in San Francisco, where he lives, the Black student achievement gap is so bad that the local NAACP called it a state of emergency.
When I started working with Chris, it was clear that he verbalized only a fraction of his thoughts.
Studies have shown that kids like Chris live with post-traumatic stress disorder at rates similar to soldiers in combat. At his school, behavioral problems are addressed with office referrals, without the intent to address the heart of the matter. My purpose as a mentor is to focus not just on academics, but also on emotional support.
I have a deep respect for the youth I mentor, and in return, they respect me. For most of the youth I work with, I am the only man they trust to open up to about their emotions, and it makes a difference. A toxic brand of masculinity that says boys and men are not supposed to exhibit emotion or feel pain has taken hold in our society—it has a debilitating and often violent effect. I have seen firsthand how a healthy masculine figure can counteract that narrative, and if we replicate that model, we might begin to heal people beyond just one neighborhood.
The researchers also compared the number of office referrals for disciplinary problems in the same time period, along with tardiness, and absences to determine the effects of the program on school-related behavior problems. The researchers found that there was a statistically significant relationship between being assigned to the treatment group and higher math grades, but grades in other subjects reading, science, English language arts did not reach significance. The researchers also found that students in the intervention group expressed significantly higher life satisfaction than their waitlisted peers, however, connectedness to school and teachers did not reach statistical significance.
In addition, treatment group students had significantly fewer referrals than their control group peers. The researchers set out to evaluate the effect of a brief school based mentoring program for first and second year middle school students, and found some statistically significant impacts on grades, behavior, and psychological well-being.
For nearly 25 years, MENTOR has served the mentoring field by providing a public voice, developing and delivering resources to mentoring programs nationwide and promoting quality for mentoring through standards, cutting-edge research and state of the art tools.
Academic Web Pages is the leading provider of customized websites for researchers, centers, nonprofits, and universities. Participants Potential mentees were recruited from a group of 6 th and 7 th graders at a large, urban middle school in southeastern United States. Results The researchers found that there was a statistically significant relationship between being assigned to the treatment group and higher math grades, but grades in other subjects reading, science, English language arts did not reach significance.
Implications The researchers set out to evaluate the effect of a brief school based mentoring program for first and second year middle school students, and found some statistically significant impacts on grades, behavior, and psychological well-being. Mentors can help students overcome math anxiety. Should mentors be compensated?
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