Kentucky mentoring programs aim to change lives of HS freshmen

Kentucky mentoring programs aim to change lives of HS freshmen

Posted: Wednesday, December 26, 2012 6:00 pm

GEORGETOWN, Ky. (AP) — Law enforcement officers have joined with school officials in Georgetown to try to make a positive impact in the lives of high school freshmen.
The Georgetown News-Graphic reports (http://bit.ly/URuX5m) that city police officers and Scott County sheriff’s deputies are volunteering to mentor ninth-graders who know they have problems and have requested help.
The officers will be paired with at least one of 10 students who requested to participate in the program. The Check and Connect program pairs volunteers and students so that they can build a relationship. The program is new to the ninth grade, although it is in its second year at the high school.
Special education-behavior program teacher Chris Reed says the officers will meet regularly at the school with students and can offer advice and encouragement.
Principal Dwayne Ellison says the goal is to help students break free from a downward spiral.
“It’s a recruiting process now. These guys are being recruited in negative ways,” Ellison told the officers who visited the school earlier this month to meet students. “You guys will help recruit them to a more positive way of life.”
When the newspaper asked students why they were there, most answered “to get better grades.” Some said they were trying to improve their behavior too.
“Sometimes I disrupt classes,” one said. Another said he’d already been to court.
Reed said the students know why they are there.
“They’ve come here to get a little help,” he said.
School counselor Melanie Flynn said the first meeting between the officers and the students went well.
“This is awesome,” she said.
Flynn said Georgetown firefighters are also participating in the program and have visited other students.
“We have about 23 kids who we’ve felt will benefit from mentors,” she said. “We have many more kids who also need mentoring.”
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Information from: Georgetown News-Graphic, http://www.news-graphic.com

Published in The Messenger 12.26.12

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