National Mentor Month 2021

FORT WORTH, TEXAS – January is National Mentoring Month, and this year Academy 4 is celebrating the annual campaign by highlighting more than a thousand mentors, who have continued to connect safely via Zoom with EVERY 4th grader in the economically disadvantaged schools we serve.   The Academy 4 program is normally held once a month on each of our sixteen Title 1 (40% or more of students are on free/reduced lunch) school campuses across Tarrant and Travis Counties. This year the program has been reengineered to be delivered entirely online.   “Many of our 4th graders and their families are hardest hit by the impacts of this pandemic and have experienced profound isolation. We have seen that the relationships that 4th graders develop with their mentors are more critical than ever before to provide encouragement, foster resilience, and show love.,”  said Academy 4 Executive Director, John Shearer. Academy 4 serves almost 1,000 4th grade students in twelve Title 1 schools in Tarrant County and four Title 1 schools in Travis County. 87% of the students we serve are categorized as economically disadvantaged. Each Academy 4 Friday begins with a training brief for mentors, followed by our LEADERS assembly, when students join their mentors online. Mentors and students are introduced to our leadership trait of the month and prep for the conversation and activities they will do during their mentoring time. Mentors and 4th graders then move to Zoom breakout rooms, each with two mentor/student pairs,  for a safe and engaging experience. After mentoring,  4th graders and mentors are issued a LEADERS Challenge that invites them to put the month’s trait into practice at home and in school. “Academy 4 is just vital to our student community. It is vital to the makeup of our school in the sense that it has changed the culture of an entire grade level, which then means that those 4th graders are going to the 5th grade to practice those character traits that they learned in 4thgrade.,”  said Alexandra Montes, Principal, Western Hills Elementary School. Be a HERO. Mentor a 4th Grader!www.academy4.orgAcademy 41905 West Broadway Ave Fort Worth, TX 76109817-744-8707info@academy4.org

National Mentoring Month is the time of the year for the community to express the appreciation for mentors like those serving in Academy 4, who we appreciate and value throughout the year! Please join us in thanking mentors who have stayed connected to students throughout this challenging time. About National Mentoring Month National Mentoring Month is led by MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership, the national organization working to expand the quality and quantity of youth mentoring relationship nationwide. Each year since its launch in 2002, National Mentoring Month has enjoyed the strong support of the President and the United States Congress. For more information about National Mentoring Month, visit: https://www.mentoring.org/campaigns/national-mentoring-month/.   About Academy 4 Academy 4 is a nonprofit organization that connects churches to schools and communities through mentoring 4th graders in leadership. Founded in 2012, Academy 4 works with Title 1 schools throughout Tarrant County and Austin, Texas to provide volunteer mentors to 4th grade students. The program is currently offered in 16 schools (twelve in Tarrant County and four in Austin). As one of the largest volunteer-based programs in Fort Worth ISD, Academy 4 continues to help shape the lives of students and families through mentoring in Fort Worth and beyond.   Academy 4 aspires to promote positive relationships in schools across Texas and around the United States with the goal that every 4th grader would have the opportunity to broaden their horizons and reach their full leadership potential with the support of a caring mentor. For more information about Academy 4, please visit https://www.academy4.org
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Media Contact: Karmen Rubin, Marketing and Community Outreach Director Academy 4 (682) 233-4403 Office(318) 553-6285 MobileKarmen.rubin@academy4.org
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