WHEREAS, the well-being and development of young people is one of the highest objectives of our state government; and
WHEREAS, a large and growing number of Missouri's young people grow up without sufficient positive role models, and on any given day there are an estimated 60,000 children who have a parent in a Missouri state prison; and
WHEREAS, responsible and accountable school-based mentoring programs, such as Big Brothers Big Sisters, offer a well-established means of providing positive adult influences; and
WHEREAS, research shows that school-based mentoring for children has resulted in improvements in academic performance, positive attitudes toward school, higher levels of self-confidence, relationships with peers, and high school graduation rates; and
WHEREAS, the recruitment or responsible, caring adults to fill this important need for mentors is in the best interest of all Missourians; and
WHEREAS, the state of Missouri's governmental workforce constitutes a large body of highly capable public servants who represent all areas of the state; and
WHEREAS, in 2007, Governor Blunt established a pilot program, the Missouri Mentor Initiative, which has resulted in hundreds of Missouri children receiving one-on-one attention and mentoring; and
WHEREAS, the Missouri Mentor Initiative has experienced great success, resulting in many local governments considering allowing employees this same opportunity; and
WHEREAS, the Missouri Mentor Initiative initially enabled up to 200 state employees to invest time away from their official duties to engage in mentoring Missouri youth; and
WHEREAS, with the program's capacity nearly filled, Missouri youth will benefit from the availability of more potential mentors; and
WHEREAS, I am committed to ensuring that the state of Missouri is at the forefront in implementing sound and innovative policies to help enhance the lives of the state's youth.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, PETER KINDER, LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR OF THE STATE OF MISSOURI, upon express delegation of Matt Blunt, Governor of the state of Missouri, and by virtue of the authority vested in him by the Constitution and the laws of the state of Missouri, do hereby expand the number of state employees allowed to participate in the Missouri Mentor Initiative to 300 full-time state employees who are eligible for one hour per week of paid approved work to mentor in Missouri public primary and secondary schools for up to 40 hours annually. I will remain responsible for coordinating and managing the initiative. Employee eligibility to participate in the program will be subject to rules established by the state of Missouri and its departments and agencies.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand and caused to be affixed the Great Seal of the State of Missouri, in the City of Jefferson, on this 27th day of March, 2008.
[Peter Kinder's signature]
[Robin Carnahan's signature]
Secretary of State