Check & Connect

Check & Connect is a program designed to curb school truancy and lower the dropout rate in Allen County. These rates remain a great concern and a chief contributor to adolescent crimes. With cooperation from school districts, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed between the ACJC, Fort Wayne Community Schools and East Allen County Schools, in which truancy mentors were hired and trained. Truancy mentors will be in four public high schools beginning fall 2014: North Side, South Side, Wayne and New Haven. Through additional funding, the number of mentors in our schools will increase and we’ll see fewer teenagers committing crimes, such as shoplifting, car theft and dealing drugs.

More information:

  • Funding for the 2015-2016 school year is a result of generous donations from the Greater Fort Wayne Community Foundation, the Chapman Fund and the Waterfield Foundation, the Huntington County Community Foundation, Inc. and the Paulding Putnam Electric Cooperative Trust.
  • Check and Connect was designed at the University of Minnesota and has been in place at schools around the country for more than 20 years.
  • Mentors develop trusting relationships with students in an effort to reengage them in school work and activities.
  • Mentors serve as case managers, tutors, problem solvers, coaches, listeners, friends and advocates.
  • Mentors provide ongoing, consistent and timely monitoring of students behavior for signs of early school withdrawal: tardies, absences, skipped classes, failing grades or falling behind in credits.
  • Specific interventions are determined by the needs and preferences of the student and their family, as well as the resources of the school, program and community.
  • The five essential elements of Check and Connect are: relationship building, monitoring, problem solving, affiliation and persistence.

Your donation will help us expand the program to more schools and into the lower grades!
Donate to Check & Connect


Early Childhood Development Initiative
We know that a child’s brain undergoes its most dramatic development before the age of three and that interaction with parents and caregivers is essential to positive development. ”BrightSteps” is the ACJC’s pilot program for early childhood development. BrightSteps is a play-based program focused on assisting parents in building strong, positive, healthy interactions with their child. Program goals are aimed at stimulating healthy brain development, forming strong social skills, establishing healthy physical and emotional development routines, and promoting positive outcomes for infants and toddlers.

Older siblings are also encouraged to attend and participate in a separate curriculum aimed at developing literacy, social skills, and kindergarten and elementary readiness. More information:

  • The first location for BrightSteps sessions will be at Bethlehem Lutheran Church, 3705 S. Anthony Boulevard.
  • Interns from local universities will participate in managing BrightSteps.
  • Parents who attend court hearings for the establishment of paternity and child support through the Court’s Title IV-D program will be invited to attend BrightSteps sessions, free of charge.
  • Upon completion of the program, parents will receive a “Certificate of Completion” of the BrightSteps program and other incentives.
  • The program helps promote educational readiness for infants and their siblings or other children in the home.
  • Parents will be informed of cognitive milestones to continue to track their child’s development.
  • Parents will be provided with additional community resources available to them and their family.

Volunteer or Intern!

Volunteers or interns are needed for the sibling (toddler) development part of the program. For more information about volunteering, please contact the BrightSteps program at 449-8010.

Your donation will help BrightSteps expand to more locations involving more children and families!
 Donate to BrightSteps  

Day & Evening Reporting

Reading, language and math skills are sorely lacking among juveniles on probation. The good news is that children are resilient and the situation is not hopeless. Through the Day & Evening Reporting program, good, thoughtful mentors will be paired with kids who need extra help in these areas. In addition, presentations about careers will be provided to encourage future aspirations for continued success.

More information:

  • New computer labs have been established containing software programs that help kids establish better reading skills.
  • GradPoint school course recovery software is also provided in the computer lab to help students catch up on credit hours needed to graduate high school.
  • A literacy educator will be on staff to assist kids with attaining improved literacy skills.
  • Interns from local universities will participate in managing and guiding group reading programs.

Your donation will help make the literacy educator a full-time position, helping more kids!
 Donate to Evening Reporting