Mentor Evansville started at Harwood Middle School in 2004. Mayor Jonathan Weinzapfel, members of his administration, representatives from the Evansville Education Roundtable, and employees from Vectren volunteered to mentor students for one hour a week.
A study found that the students in the program increased their respect of others, improved their interpersonal relationships, improved their ability to resist peer pressure, increased their interest in both learning and school, and increased their sense of optimism for the future. More than half of the students increased their grade point average.
Today, there are 120 pairs of students and mentors with another 120 waiting for a match. They come from Lincoln, Cedar Hall, Howard Roosa, Fairlawn and Hebron Elementary Schools; and Harwood and Evans Middle schools.
The mentoring program received a big boost in November 2006. Vectren and Old National Bank gave two grants totalling $75,000 to Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Ohio Valley which administers the school-based mentoring program. At that time, the school mentoring program was also renamed "Classroom Connection".
There are always more students who need mentors. If you want to get involved, call (812) 425-6076.