Sacred Heart University’s Academic Mentoring Program (AMP) has received a $45,000 grant from the Marie and John Zimmermann Fund, Inc., to support its work with students at Bridgeport’s John Winthrop Elementary School.
Through AMP, mentors from Sacred Heart pair with Winthrop students at the start of sixth grade and stay with them until they graduate from eighth grade. The mentors tutor the students and help with homework, but also show them what higher education would look like. The 2:1 student-to-mentor ratio helps encourage youngsters to focus on completing high school and eventually college, improving their skills in areas like reading and mathematics and building self-confidence and positive social values.
“The funds we receive are used to hire and train college mentors, who are committed to supporting their mentees academically and socially. They are also used to provide the mentees with enrichment activities and field trips. After an hour of tutoring, the mentors and mentees all participate in extracurricular enrichment activities, including art or STEM projects. These activities also help promote life skills like teambuilding and communication,” says Annie Wendel, assistant director of Volunteer Programs and Service Learning, the office that oversees AMP.
The mentors typically are interested in teaching careers. Their work with youngsters includes, but is not limited to, tutoring, monitoring the academic success of their mentees and attending training sessions on tutoring and mentoring skills. They are compensated for the hours they spend with their students and in training sessions, which also is paid by the Zimmermann Fund.
For more information on AMP, click here.