COLUMBUS, Ohio – Community organizations, faith-based groups and businesses are being asked to partner together to encourage mentorship in Ohio’s schools and help give more students access to role models who can help motivate and inspire them.
The Ohio Department of Education will begin accepting applications today for the state’s new $10 million Community Connectors mentoring program. Applications will be accepted through Feb. 20, 2015.
Community Connectors is one of the key education initiatives announced by Ohio Governor John R. Kasich at his 2014 State of the State address to support Ohio’s schools by fostering increased student mentorship.
“There is little doubt that an adult’s presence in a child’s education brings greater success in the classroom,” said Dr. Richard A. Ross, superintendent of public instruction. “Our boys and girls need an adult, a mentor they can trust, someone who shows them compassion, who builds their self-esteem and can keep them believing that the sky is the limit.”
Nonprofit organizations from the faith-based and civic communities are eligible to lead a project. They must team up with a business and an eligible public school district to establish a mentorship program.
Eligible school districts are those with a high percentage of students in poverty and a high number of students not graduating on time. All students within that district, regardless of socioeconomic status, will be eligible to participate in the program. Grant initiatives are to focus on the following:
Setting Goals to be Prepared for 21st Century Careers;
Developing Pathways to Achievement;
Believing in a Positive Future.
Those organizations and schools who partner in mentoring efforts can receive a maximum award of $500,000, with the state matching three dollars for every dollar spent.
The state will hold several grant application seminars across the state to help organizations understand the program and application process with the first meeting:
Thursday, Dec. 4, at CityLink in the Cincinnati area at 1:30 p.m.
More information about the program can be found at www.CommunityConnectors.Ohio.Gov.