Mentoring has an overwhelmingly positive impact on children, reducing rates of high school dropout and increasing enrollment in post-secondary education. City Connects School Site Coordinators regularly refer students to community organizations that provide mentoring opportunities. One of our key mentoring partners is the Big Sister Association of Greater Boston, which serves more than 2,600 girls throughout Greater Boston.
At their annual meeting on May 12, the Big Sister Association of Greater Boston named the Josiah Quincy Elementary School as its 2014 Community Partner of the Year. The award recognizes the Quincy’s sustained commitment to Big Sister’s mission to serve girls and families through mentoring programs. The award was accepted by Catherine Riede and Nicole Young, the City Connects School Site Coordinators at the Quincy. Catherine and Nicole serve as the primary contacts for Big Sister at the Quincy, one of Big Sister’s longest-standing and largest partners. The pair were also recognized for their instrumental role in supporting, strengthening, and promoting Big Sisters within the school.
“Our partners at Josiah Quincy have been advocates for Big Sister and have truly welcomed us into their community,” said Deb Re, Chief Executive Officer at Big Sister Association of Greater Boston. “They have not only demonstrated a real interest in getting to know the nearly 60 matches who meet at their school, but also have hosted lunch groups, invited Big Sisters to speak at their career day, and distributed information about Big Sister in their newsletter to parents. We are so grateful for their committed partnership, and look forward to continuing to grow the number of girls we serve at Josiah Quincy in the coming years.”
Congratulations to the Quincy, and thank you to Big Sisters for the important work you do!
The report, based on a survey administered to all school principals at the end of the 2009-2010 school year by the Massachusetts Full-service Schools Roundtable, reveals that more than 200 organizations partner with schools across the city. By analyzing 10 areas of support offered by Boston schools, including tutoring, mentoring, on-site mental health services, adult education, before- and after-school programs, school-based health clinics, and university partners, the report also showed some unevenness in partnerships across schools and called for greater equity in service distribution to meet the needs of all students.
As of Spring 2010, areas of need uncovered in the report include middle schools, who lagged behind other school levels in areas of mentoring, tutoring, prevention programming, after-school programs, and on-site mental health services. In addition, less than one-third of schools reported including community partners in their strategies to serve English language learners and/or students with disabilities.
At City Connects schools, School Site Coordinators utilize the Student Support Information System, a database that allows them to keep track of the service and enrichment activity providers serving students in their schools. City Connects has nearly 300 partners [pdf] who provide a range of prevention, enrichment, early intervention, and crisis intervention services to students and their families.
For more information:
Read the Boston Public Schools’ press release [pdf] about the report