Leverage Support from Existing Programming
Most districts and schools do not have the financial resources to heavily invest in new programming. The good news is that while the success mentors program requires a modest investment of time and energy from school and district staff, it does not necessitate additional funding. While some districts may be able to identify new resources, including volunteers, from the school, neighborhood, or the business community, much can be accomplished by leveraging existing efforts to fulfill the needs of the program.
The most critical component of an elementary success mentors program is the personnel. In many cases, success mentors can be entirely run on a voluntary basis, with everyone from the district captain, site coordinator and individual success mentors incorporating responsibility for the program as an additional duty of their existing role. While a greater investment of time for the district captain and site coordinator is needed during the planning and launch phases, it should decrease as the program moves into maintenance mode.
Funding may also be needed to promote attendance and celebrate success. These can be simple messages and incentives that are built into strategies that the district already uses to reach students and their families.
Districts are encouraged to consider the following questions and opportunities when deciding whether and how to allocate resources to success mentors: