Need for YBM Mentoring Program:
The graduation rate for black male students is 44% in Mecklenburg County (2009-10 data). The unfortunate reality is young black males are often expected to fail academically; consequently, most of them do. Young black males often have few positive, encouraging black male role models in their day-to-day lives; for example, 2% of teachers are black males, as compared to 83% who are White and 76% who are women. Some young black male students go weeks, maybe months, without a positive encounter with a successful, older black male. Research supports our theory of change that, with the right level of training, support, and access to role models and positive peer networks, black males can be change agents to improve their own lives, families, schools, and communities. This program will provide that positive male encouragement for the young students involved by connecting them with high-achieving, Black male high school students.
We feel it is our duty to ensure that this segment of our society, that heretofore has been underrepresented on the rolls of the successful, claims a significant place in that arena. We feel the best way to do this is to address the problem early with a program that not only deals with our young, struggling, black male students, but also helps to develop positive traits in our young leaders.
This program will give the younger students consistent attention and will therefore build a reliance and connection that will enhance the probability of a successful outcome, which will confirm a wise investment. Our focus is on students who are in need of positive attention from an older male. The program will enhance student behavior and engagement in learning, build their social skills, and promote positive relationships.
YBM’s Mentoring Program will provide small group mentoring for up to 24 black male students in third grade. The mentoring program builds on our expertise and successful experience in implementing YBM’s 3rd Grade Reading Program for the last two years. Our reading program provides reading literacy tutoring for elementary black males in 2 high poverty schools. The program improves reading comprehension, motivation, overall academic performance, classroom behavior, self-confidence and social skills of students. High-achieving black, male high school students provide one-on-one mentoring for 3rd grade black males on a weekly basis. For mentors, the program provides leadership training and experience, enhances civic engagement, and increases the desire for more community involvement. The reading program is based on the proven and successful core components of Everybody Wins!, a programming model where adults are paired one-on-one as weekly reading mentors with elementary school students. The Everybody Wins! program has undergone several evaluations, including two independent evaluations from the U.S. Department of Education and Loyola University of Chicago.