(a) Every California child is encouraged to have a caring adult who, along with parents and teachers, is able to offer support, friendship, encouragement, and motivation to help the child excel academically and lead a productive life.
(b) As a society, we look to a child's family to provide a supportive home environment and realize that the primary responsibility for childrearing must remain with the family. However, we are keenly aware of increases in child abuse and neglect, the escalation of drug and alcohol abuse, and that many children who could excel in school are not receiving all the help and support they need to succeed.
(c) Untapped human resources exist in local communities throughout the state that can provide many children with an additional caring person, in support of the family and school system, to volunteer as a positive academic role model or mentor. These individuals will help those children progress in school and help direct and reinforce the many opportunities that will further enhance each child's life.
(d) The private sector throughout California should be commended for its generous financial support of public schools. Now there is another significant contribution they can and must make to California's children and youth-the investment of human capital in our children's future as academic volunteers and mentors.
(e) Programs such as the 100 Black Men, which provides encouragement and support to children through the use of mentors, have resulted in significant increases in graduation rates at the secondary level and in much improved enrollment rates in postsecondary education for some of our most vulnerable youth.
(f) Local, regional, and statewide resource referral systems must be established to more efficiently link children and potential academic volunteers and mentors with existing programs and organizations.
(g) Volunteer and mentor service must be encouraged and appropriately recognized.
(Added by Stats. 1992, Ch. 901, Sec. 1.)