A SMILES facilitator leads the group of one-to-one Mentoring matches for an hour each week through activities designed to help build healthy relationships. Facilitator’s lead mentor matches on lessons that focus on instilling developmental assets in the child through Social Emotional Learning (SEL). The curriculum encourages mentors to support students in areas such as building social skills, responsible decision making and planning for the future. (School Year, at Keith Middle by school referrals)
A SMILES facilitator leads the group of one-to-one matches for an hour each week through activities designed to help to improve the student’s reading and literacy skills and inspiring a true joy of reading. One on one reading time is an essential part of the literacy-based program. ( School Year)
To help at-risk children realize their personal and educational potential through a large scale one- to-one mentoring program.
SMILES began in 2003 as a partnership involving leaders from the business, faith, and education communities in New Bedford, Massachusetts. The program was developed in response to the area’s longstanding high and chronic dropout rate, which has contributed to poor workforce education demographics and inhibited economic development.
The establishment of SMILES is a direct response to research that identified mentoring as the most effective strategy to keep at-risk students in school through graduation. The SMILES Mentoring Program helps to empower youth in our community to make positive life choices that enable them to maximize their potential. The mentoring program recruits adult volunteers who will commit to supporting, guiding, and being a friend to a young person for a period of at least one school year, one hour per week.