Constituent Services
Higgins & Teresi Announce Federal Grant for Chautauqua Striders Mentoring Program
August 29, 2007
Striders Executive Director Deb Kathman, Jamestown Public School Superintendent Raymond J. Fashano, Mayor Sam Teresi & Congressman Brian Higgins announced federal funds for Project JAM
Striders Executive Director Deb Kathman, Jamestown Public School Superintendent Raymond J. Fashano, Mayor Sam Teresi & Congressman Brian Higgins announced federal funds for Project JAM

JAMESTOWN, NY – Congressman Brian Higgins joined City of Jamestown Mayor Sam Teresi, Chautauqua Striders Executive Director Deb Kathman and Jamestown Public School Superintendent Raymond J. Fashano to announce a new federal grant in the amount of $121,767.  The funding, awarded through the United States Department of Education, will be used for a mentoring program in City of Jamestown schools. 


“This is a great partnership between a local community agency and city schools aimed at guiding our children down the right path,” said Congressman Higgins.  “These federal resources help to elevate and expand a great program that pairs struggling students with a mentor they can turn to and look up to.”


“The Striders program has been a staple of our community for many years.  This program has not only produced outstanding athletes in the world of track and field, but more importantly, it has helped to prepare our youth to take on and succeed in their academic challenges and become contributing valued members of the community.  This particular grant will focus on the programs that help our young people do well in school, develop healthy relationships and lead productive lives,” Mayor Sam Teresi stated.


Founded in 1979, The Chautauqua Striders is dedicated to the mentoring and guidance of youth through education, advocacy and athletics.  This grant will be used to support Chautauqua Striders “Project JAM (Jamestown Area Mentors).”  Volunteers for “Project JAM” will undergo a vigorous background check and training before working as mentors to elementary and middle school children in Jamestown Public Schools.  In addition to one-on-one mentoring through in-school and after school programs, group activities and career development programs will also be offered. 


“This grant award will allow us to expand mentoring opportunities for fourth and fifth grade students in the Jamestown School District,” said Striders Executive Director Deb Kathman.  “Our history with community and school based mentoring programs led to the successful submission of this grant.  We look forward to our continued relationship with Jamestown Schools as we develop and implement this new program to support our children during their formative years.”


The Jamestown Public School District consists of ten schools: six elementary schools housing grades kindergarten through 4, three middle schools encompassing grades 5 through 8, and one senior high school, grades 9 through 12.


“This grant will enhance Striders mentoring programs already operating in our schools,” Superintendent Fashano said.  “Chautauqua Striders has a great reputation in our community and a positive history partnering with Jamestown School District.  The addition of JAM (Jamestown Area Mentoring) school based mentoring program can only add to and strengthen our partnership.”


Grant funds must be used to support school-based mentoring programs and activities to serve children with the greatest need in one or more of grades 4 through 8.  Under the federal guidelines, “Children with greatest need" is defined as a child at risk of educational failure, dropping out, or involvement in criminal or delinquent activities, and who lack positive role models. Supported activities will work to improve interpersonal relationships between targeted children and their peers, teachers, other adults, and family members. Additionally, funded programs will work to reduce the dropout rate of at-risk children and to reduce juvenile delinquency and involvement in gangs by such children.

The Department of Education Mentoring Program awards the grant with the goals of: assisting children in receiving support and guidance from a mentor; improving the academic performance of children; improving interpersonal relationships between children and their peers, teachers, other adults, and family members; reducing the dropout rate of students; and reducing juvenile delinquency and gang involvement. 


For more information about the JAM Mentoring Program please contact David Reinhardt at 488-2203 ext 230,   Individuals, businesses and organization are strongly encouraged to join the mentoring program.   Online mentoring application can be found at  


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