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Letters to Congress about new report, Family-School-Community Partnerships 2.0 - Wicomico Mentoring Project

January 17, 2012

Dear Senator/Representative:


The Wicomico Mentoring Project, headquartered in Salisbury, Maryland, is one of 16 exemplary efforts profiled in Family-School-Community Partnerships 2.0, a new research-based report on the role of families and communities in raising student achievement from the National Education Association, which represents 3.2 million educators nationwide.

Family School Partnerships 2.0 is part of NEA’s Priority Schools Campaign, which aims to transform struggling schools — especially the bottom five percent eligible for U.S. Department of Education School Improvement Grants — in collaboration with parents, students, and community groups. Such efforts are most effective “when schools link activities for families to what students are learning and doing in class,” according to the report.

The Wicomico Mentoring Project began in 1994, when educators, business and community leaders resolved to raise high school graduation rates and created a one-on-one mentorship program for students at risk of failing in school. Last year, the graduation rate for mentored high school seniors was 99 percent, compared to 83 percent for the school district as a whole.

NEA members play an active role in all of the initiatives profiled in Family School Partnerships 2.0. Other common elements include mechanisms to evaluate student outcomes, reasonable cost, and potential for replication. Successful strategies identified by the researchers include:

  • Setting high expectations for students
  • Using data to determine priorities and strategies
  • Tailoring programs to local needs

The full profile of the Wicomico Mentoring Project is attached and available online at http://bit.ly/s4EZ5f, along with the rest of the report. We urge you to check it out!

Sincerely,

Kim Anderson
Director, Center for Advocacy

Mary Kusler
Director, Government Relations