There is an old saying in the nonprofit world…”If you can’t measure it; you can’t fund it.” It probably isn’t true in all cases, but when Seedling’s Mentor Program was envisioned back in 2005, the program was based on research and included metrics from the beginning.
Seedling’s Mentor Program undergoes a rigorous evaluation by an independent professional each year. The results are posted on our web site and presented to the Board and other stakeholders.
The Board of Seedling Foundation is proud to share them with you.
Each year, we were able to add a little more depth and complexity to our measurements and this year we had the numbers available to do direct peer group to peer group comparisons. Some outcomes were expected (Over 75% retention rate in our mentors, high satisfaction ratings from mentees, mentors, school contacts and caregivers, and increasing numbers of mentors who are trained and supported by Seedling.), but there were some unexpected outcomes, as well.
We are affecting academic performance in a positive way with a program that has never been presented as a tutoring or teaching program. Seedling’s mentored schoolchildren performed better on academic testing than their counterparts who were on a waiting list for our services. Apples to apples; school based mentoring through Seedling’s Mentor Program is having a positive academic outcome.
We are excited for the children in the program and very proud of the caring adults that make up our mentoring force.
A few quotes from 2013:
“One day I was running late, and so when I arrived at the school, my mentee was already in line for lunch. When she saw me, her whole face lit up. She thought I wasn’t going to be there, and when she saw that I was, it just made her so happy. It’s moments like that when I truly realize what an effect I have on her.” 2013 Mentor
“This mentoring relationship has provided a good role model for my student, and an outlet for some of her strong and conflicting emotions. Thank you so much. I hope very much that she will be able to take advantage of this program again next year.” 2013 Teacher
“If it wasn’t for the Seedling program, I believe I would still be struggling and not understanding why. When I am older, I would like to make a difference in a growing child’s life also. I want them to know that they are not alone. There can always be someone there for you just like there is someone for me.” 2013 Mentee
~Kali’ P. Rourke, Seedling Board Member