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Mentoring program paying off at 3 Fort Wayne high schools

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (AP) – A new mentoring program at three Fort Wayne high schools is getting rave reviews from a family relations judge.

Allen Superior Court Judge Dan Heath says the program instituted by the Allen County Juvenile Justice Center is producing outstanding early results. The Check and Connect Program, which was launched this semester, aims to help kids who have shown disinterest in school through absences and grades. It matches trained mentors with students identified as at-risk for truancy.

The Journal Gazette reports the program has caused significant improvements in attendance rates among 60 students at North Side, South Side and Wayne high schools. Early data shows the suspension rate for those students has dropped more than 60 percent.

The program was developed by the University of Minnesota in the 1990s.