Minnesota House of Representatives
Public Information Services

Menu

Public Information Services Menu

Grants sought to provide mentor support for low-performing students

By Nick Longworth
Tony Sanneh, CEO of the Sanneh Foundation, testifies March 7, in favor of HF268, sponsored by Rep. Tama Theis, which would authorize grants to the foundation to provide all-day, in-school, and after-school academic and behavioral interventions for low-performing and chronically absent students. Photo by Paul Battaglia

Continued mentor program funding could provide extra support for continually absent and low-performing students.

HF268, sponsored by Rep. Tama Theis (R-St. Cloud), would appropriate $2.5 million per year to the Sanneh Foundation to hire and train staff as mentors who provide in-class and after-school behavior and academic support to students. Dollars could also be used to support mentors pursuing teacher licenses.

The House Education Finance Committee laid the bill over Tuesday for possible omnibus bill inclusion. Its companion, SF1189, sponsored by Sen. Carla Nelson (R-Rochester), awaits action by the Senate E-12 Finance Committee.

The Sanneh Foundation’s Dreamline is a youth advancement program focused on education, wellness and uniting communities through advancing diversity and equity in schools.

“[The foundation] has made an incredible difference in the St. Cloud school district; it makes us all squeal-happy,” Theis said.

The program began there last school year.

“Within six months I knew we were becoming successful because we had students attending school who wouldn’t before,” said Kim Johnson, Dreamline coordinator for St. Cloud Public Schools. “One of the main reasons we have been so successful is the passion of our mentors.”

According to Foundation CEO Tony Sanneh, school mentors have spent more than 260 hours with students so far this school year.

“We build character by holding students accountable and helping them realize their own dreams,” he said. “Our focus is doing whatever we need to do to help kids.”

According to program data, grades have risen as a result.

Students mentored through the Dreamline program in St. Paul Public Schools during the 2015-16 school year saw a 64 percent increase in “A” grades earned; conversely, “D” grades declined by 55 percent and “F” grades by 18 percent.

Search Session Daily

Recent Dailies

Governor, legislative leaders agree on special session to finish work

DFL Gov. Mark Dayton and Republican legislative leaders announced shortly before the curtain clos...

House, Senate pass LCCMR conference committee report

The House and Senate voted late Monday to pass the LCCMR conference committee report, which would...

Midnight — and end of session — nears with most of budget left unfinished

(Updated: 8:25 p.m.) With mere hours left before the Legislature’s constitutionally mandated ...

More court funding, no protestor measure in judiciary and public safety agreement

Additional dollars for the judiciary, tweaked language regarding the Appleton prison, and rulemak...

Recrafted jobs, economic development bill heads to governor

The state’s economic development and commerce departments fared financially better in the second ...

House takes second swing at omnibus environment bill

Higher fees for hunting and fishing licenses are in and major changes to the buffer law are out a...

House repasses $529 million Legacy bill

The House and Senate each voted late Sunday to repass a conference committee report on an omnibus...

House, Senate send governor a second try at omnibus higher ed bill

(Updated 7:34 p.m. with floor action) After being told by Gov. Mark Dayton their first propos...

House OKs omnibus elections bill with uniform special-election days

Having local special elections take place on only five calendar days throughout the calendar year...

Renewed agriculture conference committee report passed by House

The omnibus agriculture bill was the first passed by the House as members began late Saturday nig...

Public Information Services  ·   175 State Office Building, Saint Paul, MN 55155   ·   Public.Information@house.mn