The Child-Family Mentor Program (CFMP) addresses the goal of providing caring adults in a child's life. Started in 1994, the CFMP is based on the belief that "it takes a community to raise a child." Thirty-eight percent of the children in Adams County, IL live in poverty, putting them in at-risk situations.
The school district served by CFMP has a 25% dropout rate. In a 1996 survey of the dropouts from the previous five years, the first reason given as to why they dropped out was academic failure, followed by never feeling connected with the school. By providing one-on-one attention, which gives the students better opportunities to succeed and build their self-confidence, CFMP is helping students graduate and be productive adults in the community.
A CFMP mentor is a concerned, caring individual who spends quality one-on-one time with a deserving, needy student for approximately 30 to 60 minutes once a week at the child's school. The mentor is a dependable role model, someone to care for and be interested in the child. The mentor enhances the learning that takes place in the classroom by working to increase the student's interest in learning and help develop the child's social skills.
CFMP started in the 1994-95 school year with 58 students, 48 mentors and 32 participating teachers. Now in its third year, 119 CFMP mentors work with 195 students and 80 participating teachers. Eighty-one percent of students worked on reading with their mentor, 91% of them have reported an increase in their reading instructional levels. Classroom teachers reported other successes of the program, including that 74% smile more frequently, 63% display more self-confidence, 46% display more self-esteem and 43% participate more in classroom activities.
CFMP is funded by the Quincy Foundation for Quality Education, which raises local monies to fund programs to enrich and enhance the quality of education.