STAMFORD, CT — February 4, 2015 – The Stamford Public Education Foundation (SPEF) today announced it has been granted $25,000 from the Pitney Bowes Foundation to support mentoring programs for middle and high school students through its College and Career Readiness with Naviance Family Connection Program. This program, which takes place in the 2014/2015 school year, provides students who need additional academic and/or social support with the resources and guidance required to be successful during middle school, high school and in all college/career endeavors.   This is the 15th consecutive year that Pitney Bowes and the Pitney Bowes Foundation have supported SPEF initiatives.

“The Stamford Public Education Foundation has built a strong reputation for providing funding for, and running, school-based programs that connect college and corporate volunteers with Stamford Public School students,” said Sue Rigano, Executive Director for SPEF. “Pitney Bowes has been a long-time supporter of public education. Because our programs are 100% donor funded, delivered at no cost to the Stamford Public School District, it is critical to receive donations such as this from our community partners,” she added.

“The Pitney Bowes Foundation is proud to help prepare middle and high school students for college and career through this partnership with the Stamford Public Education Foundation,” said Kathleen Ryan Mufson, director, corporate citizenship & philanthropy at Pitney Bowes and president of the Pitney Bowes Foundation. “We commend SPEF on its efforts to bring critical resources and volunteers to support Stamford Public Schools.”

With funding from Pitney Bowes, 250 students will participate in SPEF’s award-winning* mentoring program this school year, which includes using the Naviance Family Connection college and career planning tool. The program brings college and corporate volunteers into the Stamford Public Schools for weekly one-on-one mentoring sessions. Mentors for middle school students are provided with a grade-specific curriculum, which includes weekly exercises that focus on the four main objectives of this program: goal setting, academic engagement, extracurricular activities and college and career readiness.

Naviance Family Connection is an online college and career planning tool that optimizes student success and enhances school counselor productivity. It is available to every student in the district in grades six through twelve (7,500 students). This is the 5th year that SPEF is providing support for the portal through funding and by conducting training sessions for administrators, teachers, guidance counselors, parents and students. SPEF also tracks results from Naviance and provides it to school and district administrators.