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Launching AmeriCorps: First-Year Implementation of the National and Community Service Trust Act of 1993

July 6, 2007

The National and Community Service Trust Act of 1993 spurred the creation and expansion of national service activities throughout the US, relying on the states to determine how best to implement programs locally. P/PV undertook a long-term study to document this process, paying particular attention to the nature and progress of the federal-state relationship that the Act employed to get programs up and running quickly throughout the country. This report chronicles the first year of implementation, drawing on extensive interviews with key staff members of the Corporation for National Service, state commission heads and board members, and on observations of implementation activities in nine of the participating states. A close review of developments at both the policy and implementation levels reflects the challenges and opportunities presented by the joint federal-state approach, as well as the extent to which states were able to get programs up and running quickly to satisfy this ambitious legislative mandate.

Big Brothers/Big Sisters: A Study of Volunteer Recruitment and Screening

October 1, 2004

This is one of four P/PV reports on mentoring programs associated with Big Brothers/Big Sisters of America (BBBSA). It describes how BBBS agencies recruit potential volunteers, who is most likely to respond to current outreach efforts, and which techniques are used to attract minority volunteers. The study also investigates the intake process and makes recommendations for its improvement.

Making a Difference: An Impact Study of Big Brothers/Big Sisters (Re-issue of 1995 Study)

September 15, 2000

This is a reissue of P/PV's 1995 impact study of Big Brothers Big Sisters, Making a Difference, which proved that BBBS' high-quality mentoring has tangible and significant effects on the lives of youth. Researchers examined the lives of 1,000 10- to 16-year-olds who applied to Big Brothers Big Sisters for mentors. More than 60 percent of them were boys; more than half were members of minority groups, mostly African American. Over 80 percent came from impoverished families, approximately 40 percent were from homes with a history of drug or alcohol abuse, and almost all were being raised by a single parent. Half of these young people were matched with a mentor, while the rest stayed on the waiting list. Eighteen months later, the differences between the two groups were surprising: weekly meetings with a mentor for (on average) a year had reduced first-time drug use by almost half and first-time alcohol use by a third, had cut school absenteeism by half, improved parental and peer relationships, and gave the youth confidence in doing their school work.

College Students as Mentors for At-Risk Youth: A Study of Six Campus Partners in Learning Programs

December 18, 1992

In this study of the effects of college-student mentoring on elementary, junior-high and high-school students, P/PV examined six Campus Partners in Learning (CPIL) programs that implemented a common programmatic core in different ways, such as by varying the size of classes, the age of students served and the location of the mentoring sessions. The report concludes such mentoring can be an effective tool in improving academic and social outcomes but cautions that involving college students as mentors presents special challenges that require administrative structure and substantive support beyond that typically provided.