EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WEHT) – The Evansville Promise Zone, EVSC, Young & Established and SIMA are trying to start a mentorship program for students in two Evansville schools.

Officials say the program, called Promise Kids, will support children living in the Promise Zone with the goal of reversing the impact COVID-19 had on their education. A news release says the program will connect with children on age-appropriate levels using trained mentors both inside and outside of the classroom.

ECHO Housing Corporation says Promise Zones are high poverty communities in which the federal government partners with local leaders to increase employment opportunities, expand economic activities, improve educational opportunities, reduce violent crime, promote health and access to healthcare, to provide access to quality affordable housing and to address other community priorities.

The news release says Promise Kids will focus on schools with which Young & Established and SIMA have current relationships – Lincoln School and McGary Middle School. Officials say the program will focus on improving attendance, grades and behavior. ECHO says collaborative efforts will result in the development of child-specific improvement plans, engaging children to strengthen interactions, academic achievement, overall health and well-being.

Promise Zone Director Silas J. Matchem Sr. of ECHO Housing said, “We have successful organizations within our community that are willing to put in the time and effort to assist children reach and maximize their potential. SIMA and Young & Established have existing partnerships in place that will sustain these results well into the future.”