The Latino population in the United States is approaching 50% of all students. Latino students are under performing their peers in essentially every measure of performance, including: 1) Reading Levels, 2) Math Levels, 3) Grades, 4) Attendance, 5) ACT Scores, 6) Dropout Rate, 7) University or Trade School Enrollment and Graduation. Everyone is concerned about this problem, but few have come up with a solution. We believe that the Cultural Discovery Class is a potentially very successful solution.
The Self-Discovery Class is a high school and Middle school class that aims at the major factors that affect Latino students and contribute to their low educational performance, including:
1) Classes and exercises to raise their self-esteem, or better stated, their self-expectation, i.e. for them to come to believe in themselves in such a way that they are motivated to finish high school and to go on to some form of higher education,
2) Work with their families and community to change the mind set of their peers such that their community supports higher education for their youth,
3) Teaches the students to apply for financial support for university studies, such as Pell Grants, and many other scholarships. These are widely available to Latinos and they can have confidence of being able to attend university studies without financial support from their families.
4) Help the Latino students to be more personally aggressive at closing the “Achievement Gap.”
5) Provide an “Educator Training” module that helps both teachers and administrators to be able to related to minority students, especially Latinos.
6) Help the Latinos deal personally with discrimination, both intended and unintended.
Besides time spent in class the students are assigned to tutor or mentor their younger siblings, or other options, for at least 20 minutes per day, or 100 minutes per week. This educational tutoring of someone else contributes greatly to the self-esteem of the high school student, as well as helps the younger student in his educational progress.
There is no GPA limit for enrollment in the Self-Discovery Class, so the class is available for every Latino and minority student in the school. There is a separate curriculum for each grade from 8th to 12th so that a student can take the class as often as they can fit it into their schedule. They can gain the benefits of the class each year. We believe that there will also become an attitude in the school that this class makes a difference, so that even minority students who do not take the class will be positively affected.
See http://www.youthdiscovery.org/self-discovery-class-complete-document/ for a complete description of the class.
Youth Discovery Inc.
60 West 1000 North
Logan, UT 84321
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