STAMFORD, CT – February 9, 2017 – The Stamford Public Education Foundation (SPEF), a non-profit organization that has served thousands of students and their families since 1996, today announced that Near & Far Aid is supporting SPEF’s Stamford Mentoring Program with a grant of $10,000. Near & Far Aid, based in Southport, CT, is an all-volunteer fundraising and fund granting organization that is dedicated to eliminating the causes and effects of poverty in Fairfield County. “Near & Far Aid values our partners, like SPEF, who are making a meaningful difference in the lives of so many men, women and children living in poverty. We accomplish our mission by finding and funding programs that provide life’s most basic necessities, as well as those seeking to achieve lasting change, as SPEF’s Mentoring Program does,” said Joan Panagos, President of Near & Far Aid. SPEF’s nationally-recognized Stamford Mentoring Program strives to eliminate the achievement gap by serving elementary, middle and high school students in the Stamford Public Schools. During the 2015-16 school year, 734 students participated in this program. Elementary School: SPEF’s Service Learning Mentoring Program (grades 3 & 5) integrates community service with instruction and reflection to enrich the learning experience, teach civic responsibility and strengthen communities. Middle School: SPEF’s Traditional Mentoring Program (grades 6 – 8), which was launched in 2010, helps students who need additional academic and/or social support. It partners students with volunteer mentors for weekly one-on-one sessions that help students set goals, improve academic standing, become engaged in afterschool activities, & prepare for college, career training, or full-time employment. High School: SPEF’s Success Planning Workshops (grades 9 – 12) prepare students for post-high school success. Students meet 4 times during the school year with mentors to complete college and career readiness activities mandated by The CT Student Success Plan. About SPEF: The Stamford Public Education Foundation’s mission is to support the students and teachers in Stamford’s Public Schools through community collaboration and philanthropy. At the elementary level, the Foundation supports literacy initiatives and provides Service-Learning Mentoring to enrich traditional classroom learning. At the middle and high school levels, its focus is on college and career readiness. For further information call 203-965-7733 or visit www.spefct.org.