SMCPS Receives $251,956 for FLOW Mentoring Program

LEONARDTOWN, Md. (Jan. 6, 2009) - St. Mary's County Public Schools has been awarded a competitive, three year grant of $251,956 by the Department of Justice Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) for strategic enhancements to the Future Leaders of the World (FLOW) Mentoring program. FLOW Mentoring was one in thirteen organizations across the country to receive funding under this national initiative.

FLOW Mentoring will use this grant to support expansion of, and programmatic enhancements to, its middle school group mentoring programs, which are currently running in all four SMCPS middle schools. The funds will also be used to start group mentoring programs in each public high school in the county. With these new resources, FLOW Mentoring will be able to serve 20-30 selected students in each school and to provide structured programming focused on the topics of social and emotional skills development, community involvement, leadership training, career preparedness and exposure to new opportunities and experiences. With the support of the school Site Leaders and teacher/staff mentors, students will participate in activities such as:

-- Programming by Tri-County Youth Services and St. Mary's County Health Department on topics such as "Managing Emotions," "Social Skill Development," "Leadership Development," and various health-related subjects;

-- Bringing professionals from the community, including business professionals, health professionals, military professionals, and entrepreneurs into FLOW programs to share their experience and to provide career and job readiness insight;

-- Bringing college clubs and sports teams to FLOW programs for mini-workshops on college life, sportsmanship, college preparedness, etc;

-- Busing middle school programs to the Dr. James A. Forrest Career and Technology Center to participate in programming that introduces the students to the career training possibilities the Tech Center offers;

-- Bringing skilled individuals from the community into FLOW programs to share their particular skill or interest;

-- Designing and performing service-learning projects that will build a sense of community and fulfill needs of the school or the greater St. Mary's County community;

-- Connecting high school programs with St. Mary's County College Access Program, which will meet with our FLOW students to help those who want to go to college complete applications and apply for financial aid; and,

-- Going on fun field trips to educational sites to provide exposure to new ideas and learning opportunities.

This strategic enhancement is a partnership between FLOW Mentoring and Tri-County Youth Services, Boys and Girls Clubs of Southern Maryland, St. Mary's County Business, Education and Community Alliance, Saint Mary's County College Access Program, St. Mary's College of Maryland, St. Mary's County Department of Juvenile Services, and Big Brothers Big Sisters.

Source: St. Mary's County Public Schools

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