Background Information
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The Achievement Advocate Program was founded in 2000 by Student Achievement and Advocacy Services, a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to helping students maximize their potential. The Achievement Advocate program is staffed by educators experienced in distance learning and curriculum development. The program is built on the belief that barriers to student success are often more than financial. Help us break patterns of failure for children who simply need extra support and encouragement to succeed!

Each student enrolled in the program is assigned an on-line adult Advocate. This personal coach joins with parents and teachers to create a team dedicated to building the life skills each student needs to set goals and achieve their dreams.












PROGRAM FEATURES
The Achievement Advocate Program is built around an on-line personal relationship between a trained adult mentor/advocate and a student in need of support. Volunteer Advocates are supported by a team of professionals including career and financial aid counselors, educators, and psychologists as they interact in the following ways with assigned students.

  • Write and receive weekly messages.
  • Help students develop and meet short and long-term personal and academic goals.
  • Monitor students' personal on-line calendars to help build organizational skills.
  • Respond to students' journal entries if students share them.
  • Review students' responses to "Books That Change Lives."
  • Review students' comments about weekly news stories.
  • Assist students with solving homework problems.
  • Assist students by suggesting local resources to help them make plans for summer school and other out-of-school activities in order to meet their goals.
  • Monitor students' achiever points and work together toward program awards.
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BENEFITS FOR STUDENTS
The Achievement Advocate online mentoring community benefits students by providing reading, writing, thinking, and life lesson experiences in an entertaining format. As students visit the site weekly and complete a variety of activities, they build important skills and develop a supportive personal relationship with an adult Advocate. Together, advocate and student work toward success. As students complete the following activities they practice critical academic and life skills and earn achievement points toward motivating rewards.

  • Write weekly messages to their personal Advocate.
  • Keep a personal calendar updated with assignments and special events.
  • Develop and achieve short and long term goals in their Pot O'Goals activity.
  • Read and respond to Life Lesson articles about health, finance, citizenship, and the arts.
  • Read inspiring books and write about what they gained from each reading experience.
  • Write in their on-line Journal.
  • Read current news stories and write about why these events have meaning for them.
  • Play an on-line game of ScrabbleTM or chess together (this section is udner construction).
  • Read about Steps to Success taken by great achievers and describe what they learned to apply to their own lives.
  • Use Homework Help and Career Corner activities to add to their academic skills and plan for the future, especially in math and science.
  • Learn about a famous person from the past with whom they share common characteristics in the Meet Your Hero activity (this section is udner construction).
  • Meet students from across the country that share their interests.
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HOW ADVOCATES CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE
Volunteer Advocates act as on-line mentors for students in 4th-6th grades who show promise. Advocates act as coaches, role models, and encouraging rally squads for their students. They provide the extra guidance and support that will help students begin to see themselves as successful students with a promising future. Advocates make a significant difference to these unique students and encourage them to develop their talents and skills to make a positive difference in their own communities. Volunteers join together with educators and parents to create a team dedicated to a child’s success. Research has shown that frequent and long-term interaction on-line with a caring, supportive adult can translate into an increased sense of self worth and academic gains.
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PARENT AND TEACHER INFORMATION
Careful attention has been paid to develop a program that assumes a team approach designed to support students as they work toward success. The volunteer Advocate, professional educator, teachers, and parents are all critical members of the support team. Parents sign permission slips for student participation. A professional Educator supports the volunteer Advocates and communicates with local teachers and parents about student activities. Teachers and parents receive regular achievement point reports for each student. To ensure the safety of each child participating, volunteer Advocates are enrolled from reputable organizations and each applicant must have a criminal background check. Please review the detailed volunteer Advocate application form.back to the top


VOLUNTEER ADVOCATE REQUIREMENTS

  • Volunteer Advocates must agree to a confidential criminal, background, and employment check. The safety of children is the program's highest priority, therefore background checks are conducted on every Volunteer Advocate.
  • Volunteer Advocates must be at least 21 years of age or older.
  • Volunteer Advocates must commit to at least one year of being an active mentor. Developing a mentoring relationship with a student is a very important experience. We want to protect the students, as much as we possibly can, by screening out volunteers who might disappoint a student by dropping out. Volunteer attributes that demonstrate stability, including residence in the same place for at least a year, are positively evaluated in the selection process.
  • Volunteer Advocates must have a personal email and Internet access account and check it regularly.
  • Volunteer Advocates must be willing to spend approximately one to two hours per week responding to students and participating in on-line activities with them. Each Advocate will act as mentor to 1-5 students with three students being the norm.
  • Volunteer Advocates must communicate their assigned program Educator at least twice per month to give an assessment of their students' progress.
  • Volunteer Advocates must be willing to review and use all on-line training materials provided in the Advocate Support Area.
  • Volunteer Advocates must be capable and professional in exchanges with students and use proficient writing skills.
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VOLUNTEER TRAINING
Accepted Advocates will undergo a training program that will prepare them to work with students in a mentoring relationship. At the end of this on-line orientation program, Advocates will take an assessment quiz to make sure they have mastered the information. Once actively mentoring students, Advocates will receive ongoing training and have the benefit of an on-line forum to share ideas with other mentors.
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STUDENT ENROLLMENT
To enroll in the program and be matched with a personal Advocate, students must be in the 4th-6th grades. They can fill out a student application and sign up for the program from a variety of locations. These include home, an after-school program, a public library, or a community organization. In many cases, students are referred by their teacher or after-school program coordinator because they have a desire to achieve but need extra support. In addition to completing the application found on the New Student page, students must supply a signed permission slip completed by a parent or guardian. Once they are accepted into the program, students will receive a personal password to enter their achievement activities work area.

There is no charge for students from schools where generous sponsors have made the Achievement Advocate available in their area.
Please Email us for scholarship opportunities.back to the top


STUDENT NOMINATION GUIDELINES
If you know a student with the following characteristics, he or she would likely benefit from the Achievement Advocate program. Encourage this student to apply and support them through the application process.

  • Attending a public or private school in the 4-6th grades.
  • Home-schooled and 11-12 years of age.
  • Is interested in doing well academically but needs extra support to succeed.
  • Has potential but needs attention and encouragement.
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EDUCATOR POSITION
The part-time professional Educator is a key member of the Achievement Advocacy team. The Educator assists volunteer Advocates and problem solving and monitoring students' activities and progress. The Educator also supports Advocates by supplying them with local area resource information that they can use to advise their students regarding community out-of-school opportunities. If, unavoidably, an Advocate has to be absent for a short period of time, the Educator fills in as mentor.

If you are interested in applying for an Educator position, review the FAQs related to this position and select the Educator Position to submit an application.back to the top

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