Mentoring to impact three generations
Teen Trendsetters is a reading mentoring program for first, second, and third graders who are reading half a year or more behind their grade level. These struggling readers are assigned a teen mentor from middle and high school who meets with them weekly, and they work 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. To help encourage their continued learning at home with their parents, the mentees also receive a home library over the course of the school year. We also provide information to parents who might want to improve their own literacy skills.
The Barbara Bush Foundation provides training for both teen mentors and program advisors on age-appropriate books for mentees, and a high-quality mentoring guide for the teens with evidence-based strategies to help mentees learn to read.
PARENTS OF MENTEES:
engages them to read with their child and provides necessary support
increases their literacy skills in order to keep up with their peers
encourages leadership and the value of continued education
The Barbara Bush Foundation supports Teen Trendsetters programs because they are proven to improve literacy skills and reach learners across three generations.
Most dramatically, it is a lifeline for mentees who may otherwise slip even further behind their grade level. But teen mentors also report learning just as much from the program. As teen mentor Ciara said, “I didn’t expect to learn from them as much as I did. It was such a wonderful surprise.” Mentees’ parents also benefit from the personalized support for their child and their own dedication to reading with their child at home.
"Reading helps us grow, head and heart."
In 2017-2018, a third-party evaluation of Teen Trendsetters programs revealed several key results:
- Children’s reading skills increased 1.14 grade levels in seven months, which is 39% more growth than expected for the average student.
- 44% of teen mentors reported that the program helped them improve their own reading skills.
Teen mentors also gained community service hours and reported improved leadership, communication, and teamwork skills. Additionally, teen mentors report that the program helped them prepare for college (70%) and future employment (87%). National data from 2017 also suggests that 69% of high school seniors attend a two- or four-year college after graduation, but 91.3% of high-school senior mentors planned on attending college. Of those, over 67% were receiving some type of scholarship.
impact of literacy
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