Coaches to work with students at Stanislaus County junior highs

naustin@modbee.comJune 29, 2013 

    alternate textNan Austin
    Title: Education reporter
    Coverage areas: K-12 education, Yosemite Community College District
    Bio: Nan Austin has been a copy editor and reporter at The Modesto Bee for 24 years. She has an economics degree from CSU Stanislaus and previously worked at the Merced Sun-Star and Turlock Journal.
    Recent stories written by Nan
    On Twitter: @nanaustin

— At-risk seventh-graders will get some extra help this coming school year thanks to a $200,000 grant from United Way of Stanislaus County.

Friday, the organization announced it selected the Center for Human Services to implement its Graduation Coach program, a multiyear project designed to keep more kids in school.

"We all know having someone in your corner really works," United Way President Francine DeCiano said.

The United Way board chose raising graduation rates as its fund-raising focus, she said, and after much study realized that junior high is when many dropouts veered off the path to graduation.

The program will place coaches at three junior high schools, still to be named, who will serve as mentors, motivators and a bridge to parents for struggling tweens.

"The Center for Human Services outscored others in the perceived capability to implement the Graduation Coach program (and) provide additional resources to students. Participants will be selected for the program based on academic, behavioral or family issues which could have long range effects hindering their potential ability to finish school," says a United Way news release.

The Center for Human Services is among United Way's 21 partner agencies in Stanislaus County.

Bee education reporter Nan Austin can be reached at or (209) 578-2339, on Twitter @NanAustin,

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