Elevate Phoenix, a community-based program with a mission to deliver life-changing relationships to urban youth, implements a student-to-student mentorship program with a curriculum designed to teach character and leadership.
“myON has become a really major tool for us, because we are not only an accredited school program, we are also a 24/7 mentoring program, with constant contact with students,” explained Tim Cleary, Executive Director of Elevate Phoenix. “We know that if we can improve reading and literacy skills, we can better address the overarching goals of our organization, which include life skills education and improving high school graduation rates, along with college and career-readiness.”
Key to the success of the Elevate Phoenix program is their focus on providing “usage support” for school staff and families, reinforcing the value of reading in and out of school, through communications and literacy events. Cleary points out that the reading data available from myON is a big plus, both for their partner schools and for grantors, who don’t often have this evidence of effectiveness in their community investments.
Working collaboratively within urban public schools and communities, Elevate Phoenix serves 4,500 students and is proud of their 98% high school graduation rate. The organization trains high school students in an accredited class and counselors then assign the older students to mentor younger students. myON is integrated into their programs in five elementary schools and two high schools.
"myON has become a really major tool for us, because we are not only an accredited school program, we are also a 24/7 mentoring program, with constant contact with students."
Funding for Elevate Phoenix is provided through contributions from local businesses, civic organizations and the sports community. Subscriptions to myON for participating schools are funded through non-profit dollars, grant dollars and school funding.
“myON is a very worthy resource for non-profits to invest in and pass onto schools they work with—if they catch the vision,” Cleary said. “The lesson here is that a non-profit that wants to address reading and literacy can do so.”
Henry County Public Schools, located in rural Virginia, is home to 10 Title I elementary schools, two middle schools and two high schools. Many students qualify for free and reduced lunch, and their access to reading material outside of school time can be limited.
As various school breaks approach throughout the year, Principal Betsy Ball’s consistent message to Mead Elementary families is to keep their children reading with myON. “We have a schoolwide focus on literacy and myON fits beautifully to support home-school engagement...