“Positive, authentic relationships with peers and adults allow children to build empathy and resilience. Relationships reduce student anxiety, creating the conditions for children to learn. When children feel“ known and cared for, they are free to be their authentic selves at school.” Rennie Center:Education and Resource Center, Back-to-School Blueprint
We at Mass Mentoring Partnership (MMP) are incredibly grateful for the work you and your team of caring adults do day in and day out to support the young people in your care. We have deep respect and admiration for all that your school community has been through and want to offer our support as you adjust to students coming back to full in-person learning.
As we move into recovery, we know you are faced with important decisions about how to support students and educators. An important asset in that recovery are the federal COVID-19 relief dollars, available through the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund III (ESSER), which flow directly to school districts with the provision that at least 20% of these sub-grants are dedicated “to promote learning recovery including comprehensive after school programs and summer learning or enrichment programs.”
Growing evidence suggests that strategically and systematically investing in building developmental relationships can be catalytic for effective education, programs, and services for children, youth, and families. Researchers Li and Julian wrote:
“The effectiveness of child-serving programs, practices, and policies is determined first and foremost by whether they strengthen or weaken developmental relationships. . . . When developmental relationships are prevalent, development is promoted, and when this type of relationship is not available or diluted, interventions show limited effects.”
MMP believes that relationships are at the heart of what youth need to grow, learn, and thrive. MMP centers relationships as a lever for positive youth outcomes and for the past 29 years, we have devoted our efforts and energy to bringing tools, training, and resources that foster consistent, enduring, and quality relationships to youth serving adults. Using evidence-based best practices we work through our framework of Relationships in Action and welcome the opportunity to discuss our full suite of services with you to identify areas where MMP can support your efforts in addressing the learning loss and social and emotional needs of the young people in your community.
Professional Development Opportunities:
Support administrators, teaching and paraprofessional staff as well school support staff to more intentionally and mindfully use relationship to support learning and connection to school:
Creating Connections: Empowering Youth Adult Relationships - Help young people connect to adults in school and have a greater sense of belonging to school. This interactive training is designed to build knowledge, skills, and attitudes that enhance the capacity of adults to connect and support the development of empowering youth-adult relationships. Building on the work of the Search Institute, this training will prepare adults to develop relationships that powerfully and positively shape young people’s identities and help them develop thriving mindsets.
Healing and Trauma Informed Care - Help meet students where they are as they return to school, and provide school staff with professional development and a tool kit to boost their confidence in confronting the realities of today.
Culturally Responsive Practices - Help students to feel seen. Public schools now more than ever need to ensure that all relationships are based on culturally responsive practices to support social emotional well being of all students. This interactive training will help participants understand dimensions of identity and culture and the ways that prejudices and bias hamper opportunities for connection.
Strategies to increase Relationships/Mentoring in your school buildings/districts:
Success Mentors - Implementation of a researched based, short touch mentoring program that focuses on reducing chronic absenteeism. This program can be adapted to include all adults in the school building, or peer mentoring. Started in NYC, the MA Success Mentoring Collaborative increased attendance of participants by 60%.
Relational School Model - Training and program development rooted in a landscape analysis revealing the gaps in how and where relationships are currently being used, involving stakeholders that matter and will bring voice to the creation of an action plan that will result in increased social capital and agency in young people.
Thank you for your consideration in including us in your planning so that we can design efforts that best support your goals and the community’s needs. We believe we have much to offer in helping students and adults alike center relationships and healing when confronting the current realities of today's young people as we work together to recover from the pandemic. For a limited time, the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Response (ESSER) grant is available to fund this essential training. For more information, please contact: email@example.com.