United Way Middle School Mentoring Program
In 2021-2022 United Way of Benton & Franklin Counties launched a program to provide mentoring to chronically absent middle school students. This program decreases chronic absenteeism and increases engagement at school. The program serves students of all backgrounds and socioeconomic statuses, with a focus on students who have historically been underserved. Our AmeriCorps program operates in ten middle schools in the following six school districts: Prosser, Kiona-Benton City, Richland, Kennewick, Pasco and Finley.
Our AmeriCorps members provide caring adult connections through lunchtime activities, individual or small-group check-ins, and targeted in-class support. AmeriCorps members also coordinate groups of volunteer mentors who work one-on-one with a chronically absent student for the duration of the school year. Mentors meet with their mentees once a week during the student’s lunch period.
During the 2021-2022 School Year, AmeriCorps members:
- Mentored over 250 chronically-absent students.
- Provided other in-school support for over 850 middle school students.
- Provided over 13,000 hours of direct support to local middle schools.
Changes in Student Outcomes
There was a 54% drop in chronic absenteeism amongst program participants between the start and end of the school year.