Gov. Malloy Celebrates Contributions of Mentors

Proclaims January Mentoring Month in Connecticut

(NEW HAVEN, CT) – Governor Dannel P. Malloy, joined by state and local officials, students and volunteers, today kicked off Mentoring Month at Truman School by honoring the contributions of individuals who volunteer as mentors to improve the lives of children across Connecticut.

“We are grateful for the 21,000 citizens who provide a support system to the young people in our state who are in need of a positive adult role model,” said Governor Malloy.  “Although we have invested hundreds of millions in our public education system to narrow the achievement gap, we still see a need for more adults to take active roles in children’s lives – we know that youth who have ongoing relationships with caring adults are more likely to succeed in school and less likely to end up in the criminal justice system.”

The Connecticut Mentoring Partnership, a program of the Governor’s Prevention Partnership, works to channel resources and guide the growth of youth mentoring in Connecticut.  The Governor’s Prevention Partnership estimates that 180,000 youth statewide are in need of a mentor.  Governor Malloy has proclaimed the month of January as Mentoring Month in Connecticut as a way to raise awareness of the tremendous benefits associated with becoming a mentor.

“I can’t think of a better way for an adult to have a direct positive effect on the life of a child than to become a mentor,” said Lt. Governor Nancy Wyman.  “Helping children realize and reach their full potential is crucial not only for their personal development, but for the future direction of our state.  I urge anyone who may be considering being a mentor to use this month as an inspiration to make that very important and rewarding commitment.”

“Great mentorship programs have the potential to expand youngsters’ opportunities and broaden their horizons.  The development of a healthy relationship with a caring adult can have a positive impact on a young person’s academic and social and emotional development," said Commissioner of Education Pryor.  “We are grateful to The Connecticut Mentoring Partnership for providing a critical link for mentors and mentees in our communities, and we look forward to their continued successes on behalf of our students.”

In New Haven, at least 25 percent of children ages 5 to 17 could benefit from having an additional caring adult in their life to advocate for them.  Of that 25 percent, 12 percent are in formal mentoring programs like the school-based program at Truman School.  There are 40 students enrolled as Littler Brothers or Sisters in the program run by Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southwestern Connecticut.

“I’m delighted that New Haven is the setting for this launch of Connecticut Mentoring Month – it seems fitting that in the home town of several great universities and cutting edge public education reform we recommit ourselves to the importance of passing along to others what we know, what we have, and what we wish for in this world,” New Haven Mayor Toni Harp said.  “Beyond what anyone shares as a mentor, he or she also teaches the value of teaching, and extends a legacy of service.”

“Mentors make a world of difference in keeping young people on a positive path to a successful future.  The work of Governor Malloy’s Prevention Partnership and groups like Big Brothers Big Sisters is incredibly important in our district, especially as we place new emphasis on personal development of our students,” said New Haven Superintendent of Schools Garth Harries.

Jill K. Spineti, President of the Governor’s Prevention Partnership stated, “We are proud to be here today to celebrate Connecticut Mentoring Month. Governor Malloy’s commitment and support for mentoring has been tremendous and we appreciate all of his efforts to raise awareness of the benefits of mentoring young people in our state.  We see mentoring working every day in the trenches--children who enroll in mentoring programs, like Big Brothers Big Sisters SWCT, school-based or corporate-supported, are more likely to complete their education and have a more productive life.  No question, Mentoring matters and it’s working thanks to all those here today.  If a parent, caregiver or educator thinks a mentor may help a child, or if you wish to become a mentor, please just call us at 860-523-8042.  We can’t wait to make mentoring happen for every child who needs one in Connecticut.”

**Download: Governor Malloy’s proclamation declaring January 2014 as Connecticut Mentoring Month

Submitted by Norwalk, CT

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