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Program Will Benefit 80 High-Risk Students in Onondaga County

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States Senator Charles E. Schumer announced today that the Department of Justice has awarded $453,313 to the La Fayette Central School District under the FY 2008 Strengthening Your Mentoring through Community Partnerships Program. Funds will be used to help increase local communities' capacity to develop and implement mentoring programs and provide mentoring services, particularly to atrisk youth in the area.


"Educating and preparing our children for the future is a number one priority," said Schumer. "Providing them with the mentoring and guidance they need to succeed in and out of the classroom is critical to their growth and development as future leaders. This program will help our children achieve at the highest level."


The LaFayette Central School District will work in collaboration with organizations such as the American Cancer Society, the Greater Syracuse Chamber of Commerce, the New York State Police, and the WorkKeys Center, to deliver a Strengthening Youth Mentoring through Community Partnerships Program that will benefit approximately 80 highrisk students, including approximately 50 Native Americans, in grades 911, in Onondaga County, NY.


Program goals include measurably improved student achievement on New York School standards based assessments, and the enhancement of students' employment and social skills, through onetoone mentoring opportunities. The program proposes to recruit, screen, train, retain and support 75 mentors, provide students with internships that are challenging and of potential career interest, and to enroll 80 highrisk students in "The Big Picture Company" program.


The program targets children who are underserved due to location, shortage of mentors, special physical or mental challenges, or other situations identified by the community in need of mentoring services. It also aims to involve parents in the program and provide classroom teachers with professional development and growth.


Peter Tigh, the Superintendant of the La Fayette Central School District in Southern Onondaga County, was pleased to receive the funding for the Mentoring Program. "We are looking forward to connecting students with community businesses and business people," Tigh said.  "This award will help us make learning relevant to students' lives."