Mentoring helps improve youths’ grades, school attendance and family relationships, and helps prevent alcohol and drug initiation, says this report financed by the U.S. Department of Education. This conclusion was drawn from interviews with 669 volunteer mentors, as well as interviews and focus groups with youths and with school and agency staff from eight exemplary programs. Researchers focused on three questions: What is school-based mentoring? Are enough mentors developing the close, supportive relationships with youth that signify the potential of these programs to make a difference in the youths’ lives? What specific benchmarks can programs use to ensure optimal development of supportive relationships, and do these critical levels differ for community-based and school-based programs?
Determining factors in the success of community-based and school-based mentoring relationships were: mentor and youth engagement in both social and academic activities, hours per month that youth and mentor spend together, how decisions are made about how youth and mentors spend their time, mentor-youth similarity of interests, pre-match orientation and training, post-match training and support from program staff, and age of the youth. 48 pages. $8.50 for hard copy or free online. Public/Private Ventures, 1 Commerce Sq., 2005 Market St., Ste. 900, Philadelphia, PA 19103. E-mail: www.ppv.org/indexfiles/pubsindex.html.
– Amy Bracken