Mentoring is a one-to-one caring, supportive relationship between a mentor and a mentee that is based on trust. Tutoring, also a one-to-one activity, focuses on academics and is an effective practice when addressing specific needs such as reading, writing, or math competencies. “Students report that having a person at school who is checking up on them, gives the sense that someone cares and motivates them to come to school” (Gonzales, Richards, & Seeley, 2002, p.12). Two major national studies have reported positive results from mentoring programs. Tierney and Grossman (1995) report a 37% decrease in truancy among participants in the Big Brother/Big Sister programs. The Commonwealth Fund’s Survey found a 52% decrease in skipping school among participants of mentoring programs (McLearn, Colasanto, & Schoen, 1998).
Service-learning connects meaningful community service experiences with academic learning. This teaching/learning method promotes personal and social growth, career development, and civic responsibility and can be a powerful vehicle for effective school reform at all grade levels. Service-learning helps students to see the value of education through direct experiences in the community, and the process develops more positive attitudes toward school and education in general (Garman, 1995). “Studies of the effects of service-learning on grades, attendance, and dropout reduction indicate the value of this strategy for students who have significant risk factors” (Shumer & Duckenfield, 2004, p. 156.)
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