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Press Release
County of Orange Seal COUNTY OF ORANGE

County Executive Office
August 25, 1999
CONTACT: Cindy Scott
714- 834-3033
PIO PICO Mentoring Project is Success Among Civic Center Employees
(Santa Ana, CA) - More than 114 County employees and volunteers will be recognized tomorrow for their participation in a pilot program to mentor students at Santa Ana’s Pio Pico Elementary School. The ceremony begins at 3 p.m. at the Santa Ana Police Department Community Room, 60 Civic Center Drive. White House Director of Intergovernmental Affairs Mickey Ibarra will be a guest speaker.

"I feel that we as a County need to partner with our cities and schools to ensure that our children receive the best education possible. Our role in the mentoring program has contributed significantly in getting the Pio Pico program up and running. I am optimistic that the children’s confidence gained through the program will benefit everyone," said Chairman Chuck V. Smith.

Pio Pico, located in the center of Santa Ana, was the only school in Orange County to receive a state mentoring grant. The mentoring program, which began three years ago with 50 volunteers, has grown tremendously among Civic Center departments. One day a week during their lunch hour, employees spent 45 minutes going over individualized lesson plans to help the students strengthen their English skills in reading, writing, spelling and speaking. According to Judy Magsaysay, Pio Pico principal, the volunteers are credited with helping 90 percent of those mentored move up one to three grade levels in the informal reading indicator category.

On behalf of Smith and Santa Ana Mayor Miguel Pulido, outstanding corporate and employee service awards will be presented. In addition, the first Vito Bello Memorial Service Award will be given to an outstanding mentor, and Senator Joe Dunn, 34th District, will recognize the mentoring program’s advisory board.