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LUTHERAN SOCIAL SERVICES OF SOUTH DAKOTA INC

Strengthening Individuals, Families & Communities

www.LssSD.org Tax ID 46-0224731

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LSS Mentoring Services matches volunteer mentors with students in 11 Sioux Falls area school districts. Volunteers meet for one hour per week with the goal to empower youth to succeed by establishing trusting relationships with adult volunteers. Mentors have a significant impact on youth by providing guidance and developing consistent, long-term friendships.

Students are referred to LSS Mentoring Services for a variety of reasons -- including frequent absenses. In the 2018-2019 school year, more than 1,600 children will be matched with an LSS mentor across 11 Sioux Falls-area school districts.

Missing school is one of the leading causes of school dropout. Typically the middle school years are when truancy becomes a significant issue and students start disengaging from school.

The “Check & Connect” project is an evidence-based mentoring intervention designed by the University of Minnesota. Check & Connect matches trained mentors with middle school students and their families for at least two years. The program has four components that work together to help keep students engaged and committed to school.

#1 MENTOR: A trained mentor works with a middle school student and their family for a minimum of two years, meeting weekly with the student and calling the parent(s) regularly.

#2 CHECK: The mentor regularly checks on the student’s attendance, school behavior, and educational progress using the school district’s parent portal, with the parent’s permission.

#3 CONNECT: The mentor, who has received training about community resources, helps connect the family to resources that help the student improve their school connection.

#4 FAMILIES: Mentors collaborate with parents to work together on fostering the student’s commitment to school.

With your help, Check & Connect can be added to LSS Mentoring Services as an enhancement of our current program! Please help us make this a reality for mentors who want to help their students!