U Connect is a collaborative project involving partners from Minnesota, Tennessee, and Kentucky to address how families can be the most impactful on children's academic achievement. Research shows that children that come from backgrounds that include lower socioeconomic status, underperforming schools, and unsafe neighborhoods are more at-risk for not maximizing their educational achievement. This program seeks to support families and increase young people's educational accomplishments through a three-part plan: (1) small group mentoring using evidence-based practices to mitigate early warning signs of academic disengagement; (2) an afterschool program that allows for culturally sensitive programming related to academic needs, as well as issues such as technology and nutrition, which have been shown to effect a children's ability to succeed in school; (3) parental programming that assists in addressing parents concerns about working with school districts and how to create home environments that best prepare children for academic success.
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