Be Great Graduate

Be Great Graduate

Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater St. Louis Awarded Funding
From St. Louis Children’s Fund to Keep Youth on Track to Graduate

Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater St. Louis (BGCSTL) was one of eight new agencies, awarded $350,000 from the St. Louis Children’s Fund to implement the “BE GREAT Graduate” program in the Normandy School District.

BE GREAT: Graduate is a comprehensive, targeted dropout prevention intervention designed to enhance youths’ engagement with learning by providing consistent support from caring and trusted adults to develop the academic, emotional and social skills necessary to achieve academic success.

“We are excited to introduce the “Be Great Graduate” program in the Normandy School District. The program is meant to keep students on track to graduate, one of the areas Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater St. Louis specializes in. This initiative will target Normandy High School students who are identified by school staff as showing signs of disengaging from school such as poor attendance, behavioral issues and/or low grades,” stated Dr. Flint Fowler, Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater St. Louis President.

Be Great Graduate was implemented in Roosevelt High School during the 2013-14 school year where BGCSTL staff provided support to 28 freshmen. During this time, the students were engaged in one-on-one and group mentoring sessions (utilizing SMART Moves, Passport to Manhood and SMART Girls curriculum). Staff monitored course grades, course placement and school attendance, conducted weekly assessments to check for the warning signs of withdrawal from school and worked with the youth to develop an immediate intervention that focused on decreasing the negative risks while increasing the positive factors (i.e., confidence) through the mentor relationship, problem solving and persistence to keep them on track through their crucial transitions years. By the end of the school year, 25 students successfully advanced to the next grade level with sufficient on time grade progression.

“The Children’s Service Fund has worked diligently to identify new agencies that will broaden the system of care for St. Louis County youth 19 years and younger. Over the last two years, the number of agencies serving County youth increased by 22 to 76 agencies. This means that more County youth will receive critical mental health and substance abuse services,” stated David Ewing, Acting Executive Director, St. Louis Children’s Fund.

In November 2008, St. Louis County passed a ballot measure which created a community children’s service fund to provide mental health and substance abuse services for children, 19 years and under in St. Louis County. As defined by state statute, the funds can be utilized in the following 10 service areas: crisis intervention services; home and community-based counseling services; individual, group and family counseling services; outpatient psychiatry services; outpatient substance abuse treatment; respite care services; prevention services; services to unwed and pregnant teens; temporary shelter services; and transitional living services.For more information on the Be Great: Graduate program, contact Ryonnel Jackson at 314.335.8140.

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