(AUSTIN, Texas) — NEWS: Seedling Foundation, a non-profit organization serving children who have an incarcerated parent, is seeking business partners and individual volunteers to mentor children in Central Texas school districts during the 2022-23 school year. The organization served 472 children last school year and expects to significantly increase the number of children served in local school districts.
Based on research-driven, best practices for mentoring, Seedling trains and supports mentors (each mentor assisted by a professional Seedling Mentor Director) for their work with children who have an incarcerated parent. Mentors and mentees meet weekly during lunch at one of Seedling’s 100 public school partners. Seedling works intently to pair volunteers’ skills and interests with a child who has similar interests. The average duration of a mentor/mentee match is 24 months, which positively contributes to the students’ personal development, resilience, school engagement, attendance, and disciplinary outcomes.
“Mentoring a child in a local public school is one of the most rewarding and impactful volunteer experiences in Central Texas. The reward for both the mentee and volunteer is life changing,” said Dan Leal, Seedling Executive Director.
Seedling’s mission is to mitigate the impact of parental incarceration on children in Central Texas through school-based mentoring. Seedling matches children with mentors in Austin ISD, Austin Achieve Public Schools, Del Valle ISD, Hays Consolidated ISD, KIPP Public Schools, and Pflugerville ISD. Since 2005, Seedling has served more than 2700 children who have a parent in prison or jail.
There are an estimated 8,000 kids who have a parent in jail or prison in Travis, Hays, Bastrop, and Williamson Counties. No system, including criminal justice and schools, asks the question of whether a child is in need due to parental incarceration. Seedling began mentoring children who have an incarcerated parent at the request of Austin ISD principals to fill a need that often remains hidden due to stigma.
Individuals may visit https://seedlingmentors.org to complete the New Mentor Application or call Seedling at (512) 323-6371 to inquire about an information session for a group. Caregivers who are seeking school-based mentoring for their child in school districts partnering with Seedling should contact the school’s counseling department.
Seedling has provided school-based mentoring for over 2700 Central Texas children impacted by parental incarceration since 2005. Seedling is seeking mentors to serve children during the 2022-23 school year. Seedling is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, Tax ID #74-2841791. Donations are tax deductible.
For more information visit https://www.seedlingmentors.org/.
Related link: https://seedlingmentors.org/
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