Central Unified to unveil new student mentoring program

The mentors will reach out to students and offer help on not just school work, but also check in on their wellness and offer support during distance learning.
FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Just as families get set to begin the school year learning from home, Central Unified is working to create a new mentoring program called Central4Kids.

The idea is match up every Central Unified student with a district employee.

The mentors will reach out to students and offer help on not just school work, but also check in on their wellness and offer support during distance learning.

"Basically it's just checking in on the kids on a weekly basis not only academically but socially, emotionally and any other resources that they may need," said Central Unified Superintendent Andrew Alvarado.

The initiative is the brainchild of Alvarado.

The district will work together with the teachers' union as well as the classified employees union to come up with a plan.

Alvarado anticipates each staff member will have a list of about 16 students that they will need to check in on during this challenging time.

"We have about 16,000 kids so if we could pull a thousand of our staff members, you're looking at a 16 to 1 ratio. I think we could get that down to 10 to 1 once we get our community partners involved with it," said Alvarado.

Central Unified is the first district in Central California to implement this type of program.

But Alvarado expects other school districts to pull ideas from it.

"I've had a few superintendents already reach out. We're sharing the plan with them. We've done a great job in Fresno County with sharing ideas and concepts and bouncing them off one another so this isn't going to be any different."

According to officials, the Central4Kids program will not cost the district any additional funding as Central Unified plans to make it part of the staff's duties.
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