Teen Trendsetters™ is a reading mentoring program for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd graders (mentees) reading half a year or more behind their grade level. Mentees are assigned a teen mentor who meets with them weekly, working together to improve reading. The program also engages the mentees’ parents, who sign a contract agreeing to read with their child at least twice a week. Mentees also receive a home library over the course of the school year.
Teen Trendsetters™ works. In an independent evaluation by Dr. Craig Mason at the University of Maine, mentees showed, on average, a 1.14 grade level increase in reading skills, which corresponds to 39% more growth than would be expected for an average student during this time period. The increase of more than one grade level in reading is even more substantial given mentees began well below grade-level. Struggling early readers may be expected to show less growth in reading than the average student, yet Teen Trendsetters™ mentees showed more growth than one would expect – even for an average student who was reading at or above grade-level at the start of the year.
Mentors who were seniors in high school reported that their experience in the program had helped them prepare for college (70%) and future employment (87%). While national data suggests that 69% of high school seniors go on to attend a two- or four-year college following graduation (U.S. Department of Education, 2017), 91.3% of mentors who were seniors in high school reported that they were planning to attend college next fall. Furthermore, among those planning to attend college, over two-thirds (67.5%) reported that they were receiving some type of scholarship, either a private scholarship (17.2%), a federal scholarship (12.9%), or a state-sponsored scholarship (37.3%).
If you would like to make a huge impact on the lives of children who struggle to read, please make a donation. For more information about Teen Trendsetters™ please contact our staff at firstname.lastname@example.org.