Rollins College senior Kaley Sinclair knows that 3rd grader James Jackson at Fern Creek Elementary School in Orlando likes break dancing, SpongeBob and someday wants to travel to China and Texas. Since Kaley has been James’ school mentor for the past four years for an hour every week, she knows more about him than just his grades. She’s someone he reads with, talks to and relies on.
With more than 83 percent of Fern Creek’s students on free or reduced lunch and a 23 percent homeless rate, consistent mentorships like the one Kaley provides are a “must-have” for the school, says Fern Creek Principal Patrick Galatowitsch.
That’s why the elementary school has one of the largest mentorship programs in the district – with 125 regular mentors, nearly half of whom are Rollins students.
But Rollins’ long-term commitment to its neighbor goes beyond mentorship. From on-campus college visits … to helping develop a new science lab … to teaching robotics … to painting classrooms, Rollins is intrinsically involved in all aspects of school life. In fact, you’ll find at least one person from the college on-site at Fern Creek every day. It’s one of the reasons why Fern Creek credits Rollins with helping elevate it from a “C”-rated school to “A” status over the course of the partnership.
To learn more about Rollins' partnership with Fern Creek Elementary click here