Eagle Academy is a K-8 school, and this is our first year with Project MORE. We use students in grades 6-8 as Mentors. 50% of our mentors have IEP’s.
A Mentor Story: “P”, a 6th grade mentor on an IEP, asked if he could switch his mentoring time so that he would not miss Spanish class. I told him that was okay, so the next day he came down at his new time and went to get his mentee, “A” (a first grader). He came back without him and said, “’A’ has gym class right now. I don’t think he would want to miss gym class, because I know I would not like it if I had to miss gym class. Can we just switch back to our regular time?” When I told this to the intervention specialist, she was amazed. She said, “I don’t think I’ve ever seen “P” show empathy like that before! That is amazing.”
“W”, an 8th grade mentor on an IEP said: “I love doing Project MORE because I learn new words. I like folding books and I like reading new books with kids. That is why I like doing Project MORE.”
“M”, a staff member: “Thank you for all you do with Project MORE. Two of the students who are working as mentors are completely different this year because of the program. Their behavior is so much better now that they have something to look forward to and to feel proud of.”
A common comment from all of our middle school mentors is: “Can I do mentoring every day?”
At Eagle Academy, Project MORE is used as part of our Mentor’s alternate assessments. All of them passed this year.
What about our mentees?
50% of our mentees also have IEP’s. All of them passed their alternate assessments this year. In fact, one of our 4th graders made so much progress in reading this year that he will take the regular OAA test next year with accommodations.
“K”, another 4th grade student says: “I like reading the books and playing the games and I like my mentors. My favorite thing is the Starburst and the prizes.” “K” has also asked if he can be a mentor when he gets to 6th grade.
“C”, a parent of a 1st grader says: “I feel my son is definitely improving. He is much more confident now when he reads.”
We are so thankful for Project MORE and how it has helped our mentors and mentees improve in reading. We are looking forward to even more success next year.