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Challenges facing poor children are well documented: profound academic performance disparities that fall along racial lines; inadequate public transportation; limited access to mental health resources; and high rates of juvenile crime and drug use. [1]

Children raised in poverty can be exposed to a variety of adverse childhood experiences: divorce, mental illness, parental substance abuse, and incarceration of family members. S4S programs are specifically designed to provide a combination of services to address unmet needs and challenges.


By providing youth and their families with academic and social skills programs and access to mental health providers, we are witnessing positive changes.

To track academic progress, we use GPAs and other measures.


Other data sources evaluated include attendance, behavioral surveys, teacher input, and volunteer surveys.

Demonstrated outcomes from this data include:
  • Improved behavior at school and in the community.
  • New positive life experiences, like participating in the Bates Middle School Performing and Visual Arts Program.
  • New positive peer and adult relationships, including positive mentoring relationships and peer relationships among African-American and Hispanic participants.
  • Personal and family goal achievement.
  • Girls making Honor Roll for the first time.
  • Girls inducted into the National Honor Society.
  • Increased parental involvement in the lives and education of their children, including 75% attendance at parent-teacher conferences.
  • Agreement to participate in family counseling to overcome trauma, life transitions, and the effects of adult substance abuse.


“We have lots of good programs and lots of people who care about our students, but the work you are doing truly stands out. It is so wonderful you have been able to recruit adult men for each I Am a Reader student. I already see this making a positive impact on these students. I see these men with these boys … I think this program is amazing and is working!” – Eastport Elementary School staffer

[1]Poverty Amidst Plenty V: Striving To Achieve Progress For All. Fifth Edition. Annapolis, MD: CFAAC 2015.