STUDENT ADVOCACY PROGRAM
The Student Advocacy Program was established and implemented at Saraland Early Education Center during the 2018-2019 school year and implementation has continued in subsequent school terms. Each year, all kindergarten and first grade students are mentored by a member of the professional staff that is not their teacher or school counselor. A mentor is one that serves as a supportive, caring adult who is a role model and spends quality time with the student to make a positive change in the life of the student. Mentors also serve as “thought partners” for students on their academic journey and help empower students to become autonomous learners and agents of their own change. They express understanding of student aspirations and fears as well as support student success by acting as an advocate serving the best interests of students. Mentors meet with mentees each quarter to develop a positive relationship and support their educational experiences. The overarching goal of the advocacy program is to promote student success by improving the students’ self-esteem, attitude towards school, attendance, and academic performance.
MIDDLE SCHOOL (6-8)
Saraland Middle School’s Advocacy Program provides an additional opportunity for students to meet with and form relationships with adults in the building who will serve as their advocates. This program allows students and their assigned adult advocates (teachers/staff members) opportunities to connect beyond regular instructional or academic time to discuss concerns and address school related issues. Advocates also provide guidance on topics such as bullying, failure, growth mindset, and empathy. In addition, program goals aim to improve student communication skills, self-esteem, and the overall school experience. In turn, advocacy further supports the well-being of the whole child and contributes to overall student success.
HIGH SCHOOL (9-12)
The advocacy program at Saraland High School provides each student at least one adult who serves as an advocate. The program ensures the opportunity students can connect with an adult who is willing to listen and provide guidance as needed. The program promotes equity and accessibility ensuring every student regardless of race, religion, sexual preference, or socioeconomic factors is supported. Weekly meetings foster a supportive community based on inclusiveness and positivity. Students are assigned a different advocate each semester to ensure collaboration with multiple teachers and establish a web of strength to maximize student potential for success.