Today Governor John R. Kasich signed executive order 2014-05K creating the Community Connector Advisory Board to help provide guidance to the state superintendent of public instruction on Ohio's new school mentoring program.
Community Connectors is one of the key education reforms signed into law by Kasich last June and seeks to bring together parents, community organizations, faith-based groups, businesses and others to support Ohio's schools and to mentor students. Community Connectors provides $10 million in 3-to-1 matching grants that will help give more Ohio students access to role models who can help motivate and inspire them, as well as help them develop skills that lead to success in school and the workplace.
State Superintendent of Public Instruction, Dr. Richard A. Ross, who will ultimately award the matching grants, asked Gov. Kasich earlier this fall to appoint an advisory board of individuals dedicated to mentorship and careers that can advise him on designing and implementing the program.
In response, Gov. Kasich has appointed:
-Rev. Dr. Todd Davidson, Antioch Baptist Church in Cleveland
-Alex Fischer, President and CEO of the Columbus Partnership
-Jane Keller, CEO and President of Cincinnati Youth Collaborative
-Bill Kitson, President and CEO of United Way of Greater Cleveland
-Rich Nathan, Senior Pastor of the Vineyard Church of Columbus
-Colleen Ryan, President of Vectren Energy Delivery of Ohio
-Cynthia Dungey, Director of Ohio Department of Jobs & Family Services
"The power of mentorship holds great promise to help us better connect our communities with our schools, and lift up our educators and our kids," Kasich said. "We can show them why learning matters, we can teach them about workplace culture and professional etiquette. We can help them appreciate how important good character is to success in life as well as values like hard work, discipline and personal responsibility--all of which can help motivate and inspire them to find their purpose and to reach for the stars."
The Ohio Department of Education plans to kick-off the grant program later this fall.