Programs receive $331K in mentoring grants

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BRATTLEBORO — Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Vermont and Flood Brook Elementary in Londonderry were two of the 33 recipients of the 2017-18 Vermont Mentoring Grants awarded by Mobius totaling $331,700.

The grants are meant to support adult-to-youth mentoring programs throughout the state. This funding will support more than 100 new and existing program sites, and more than 1,800 adult-to-youth mentor pairs in communities across Vermont.

The grants included $18,500 to Big Brothers Big Sisters of Vermont to support its mentoring programs in Chittenden and Windham counties; a grant of $1,900 to the Collaborative to support its mentoring program at Flood Brook Elementary; and a grant of $8,425 to the Washington County Youth Service Bureau to support the YDP Connections program, which matches adult mentors who were formerly in the foster care system with youth across the state who are currently in the foster care system.

"Funding from Mobius will help Big Brothers Big Sisters of Vermont to provide quality mentoring programs in Windham and Chittenden Counties that focus on child safety, positive relationship development and a strength-based approach to supporting youth in recognizing their full potential in life," said Kimberley Diemond, executive director of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Vermont. "Mobius is a tremendous asset to the mentoring community of Vermont!"

The Vermont Mentoring Grants are made possible each year through funding support from the A.D. Henderson Foundation, the Vermont Department for Children and Families, and the Permanent Fund for Vermont's Children.

The 2017-18 grants will provide continuing support for established programs that demonstrate they meet best practices, and support programs in their first or second year of implementation.

There is also a small amount of funding available that has not yet been granted to assist in the planning process for potential new programs.

All 2017-18 grantees have committed to being partners in the Vermont K-12 Mentoring Initiative, a multi-year project, spearheaded by Mobius, to establish the statewide program infrastructure needed to allow youth the opportunity to be matched with a mentor from elementary school until they successfully enter adulthood.

Additionally, grantees, beyond their implementation phase, are required to demonstrate that they are meeting best practices through the Quality Mentoring System (a program assessment system developed by Mobius and MENTOR, The National Mentoring Partnership). Grantees will also continue to use the Vermont Mentoring Surveys common questions to survey their mentors and mentees, and track youth outcome data in the following key areas: resiliency; pro-social skills; future aspirations; connectedness to community; and attitude toward school.

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