To assist children and their families who have been found educationally dependent in the juvenile court system, due to excessive school absences and / or truancy. TIP’s vision is to decrease absentee rates and provide families with resources and services necessary to ensure consistent attendance and success in school. Children and youth with consistent attendance are more likely to perform better in school, have improved reading skills, and be successful in high school completion.
What We Do
The TIP program provides volunteer mentors to children who are involved in the juvenile court system due to excessive unexcused absences from school. TIP provides community resources and advocates for children in an effort to meet life’s challenges by preventing school failure. TIP trains volunteer mentors to help build healthy, strong communities through mentoring students in kindergarten through fifth grade. This is accomplished through the development of meaningful relationships with students, and by serving as role models who encourage and reward mentees for behavioral, social, and academic achievement. TIP seeks to increase the number of children who are on track in literacy and intellectual skills by making education an important part of their everyday lives.
Who We Serve
TIP serves elementary school age children who have at least five unexcused absences and / or where the school is concerned about their truancy related patterns from one school year to the next. Cases are staffed and presented by the social workers at Muscogee County School District (MCSD). Services are offered to children and families who can benefit from TIP. Priority is given to students who have been referred to Muscogee County Juvenile Court for truancy related charges. Participation in the TIP program is one year, or until truancy is no longer a concern.
- To identify the reason for truancy and assist the family in resolving the issue(s) in order to help the child remain and be successful in school. By ensuring regular school attendance, the TIP program is a deterrent to youth engaging in delinquent behaviors.
- To raise academic achievement by ensuring regular school attendance, improve reading skills, and better performance (improve number of passing scores) on the Criterion Referenced Competency Test (CRCT).
Columbus TIP was established in 2002 by the Columbus Bar Association, Inc. and the Young Lawyers Division of the State Bar Association of Georgia. The program was re-organized in 2011 under the umbrella of Twin Cedars Youth & Family Services, Inc. as a partnership between TCYFS, Columbus Bar Association, Muscogee County School District, and Muscogee County Juvenile Court System.
TIP began the 2013-2014 school year with 25 mentees. Eleven cases have been dismissed or completed, and participants are doing well in school. Since January 2014, TIP has received 12 new referrals.
As part of Twin Cedars, Truancy Intervention Project is accredited by the Council on Accreditation (COA).
To refer people interested in volunteering for the mentor program, please contact the TIP program coordinator. Children who may benefit from TIP are referred through their school social worker.
Truancy Intervention Program
18 9th Street, Suite 504
Columbus, GA 31901
706-327-9612 ext. 1503
Desonuia Wise, firstname.lastname@example.org, 706-327-9612 ext. 1503