ELL students face huge obstacles to academic success & emotional growth. For the vast majority of these students, English is not spoken at the home-resulting in little if any academic assistance for students who are already performing below their peers. These kids are also faced with conflicting expectations of teaching & translating for their parents while maintaining their status as 'children', which increases anxiety & creates lower levels of wellbeing, emotional stability & connectedness.
This program will benefit our most vulnerable populations, our youngest & newest citizens academically, emotionally & culturally. The program will focus on ELL students in 3rd-7th grade pairing them with trained, caring mentors to help them navigate social barriers. YouthFriends mentors help ensure proper mental stability, while decreasing the stress of a new culture, environment and language for the children. These issues can lead to emotional & mental distress, which result in risky behaviors.
To improve the lives of hundreds of ELL youth by helping mentors develop the skills, assets & intention necessary to succeed. By connecting ELL students with trained, caring adult mentors from our local communities, students will have the opportunity to practice their English and acculturation skills and feel more connected to their schools and accepted in their communities. Our goal is establishing an effective model for replication in school districts in Greater Kansas City & throughout KS/MO.