Youth Discovery Inc. has spent over $700,000 from 2006 to 2012 to help educate Latino and minority youth. The Self-Discovery Class is currently being developed to be taught in 8th through 12th grades in order to reach our goal of reducing minority high school drop-out rates by half, and increasing the graduation rate from trade schools and universities by two to three times the current level. If current trends continue, of the 60 million Latino youth that will go through American schools between now and 2050, only 13%, or 8 million, will graduate from universities. Our goal is to see 8-10 million more of these youth obtain some form of advanced education. For more information, see Diversity Discovery 2013 (The previous name of the Self-Discovery Class) We have recently enlarged our focus to include students of all cultural backgrounds.
Youth Discovery Inc. needs volunteers to help write lesson plans for the Diversity Discovery classes and donations to pay professional educators to review these lesson plans and to prepare qualitative and quantitative statistical analysis on the performance of the classes.
The Latino student population in Cache Valley, Utah, and across the USA is on the rise and will approach 50% of all students within a few decades. These Latino students are vastly under-performing in essentially every measure of educational achievement, including reading levels, math levels, grades, attendance, ACT scores, dropout rate, university enrollment and graduation. Similar attitudes are true for other minorities and we think that more can be done to encourage low-motivated Caucasian youth as well.
There are many factors contributing to this under-achievement, but perhaps the greatest is the “mindset” of the Latino and minority students. They simply do not think they can achieve or excel, so “why try?” In summary:
Latinos In Action, LIA, is an innovative program developed 10 years ago in Orem, Utah, and has made great strides in raising the mindset and performance of Latino students. It trains high school students to tutor younger students, and then busses them to an elementary school where they help the younger students with homework. This helps the high school students by enhancing their self-confidence and increasing their self-expectation.
The two biggest hurdles faced by Latinos In Action are the cost of busing the high school students to the elementary school, and coordinating schedules between the two schools. Due to these problems, a given high school may only offer LIA to a limited number of its students, usually one class, which is often as little as 10% of the Latino population of the high school. Finally, the LIA students have very little opportunity to learn how to navigate the American educational system since they are spending most of their school hours tutoring the elementary students..
After school programs are very helpful, but for various reasons they are utilized by only a small minority of the students that need it. The biggest reason is that the Latino and minority students need to go home to babysit while their mother goes to work, or for similar reasons at home. Another reason is that by the end of the day, they have had enough of school.
Diversity Discovery is a proposed new curriculum modeled after Latinos In Action with many of the merits of LIA, but elimination of some drawbacks. The biggest difference being that the students spend 100% of their time in class, making it an affordable alternative for school districts that don’t have the funding to bus students between schools. The busing money could be spent on the FTE of the teachers teaching the class. Thus enabling the class focuses on teaching life skills, financing college or trade schools, filling out FASFA and scholarship applications, the value of being bilingual, the importance of giving service, the significance of their cultural heritage, pride in their unique skills and qualities, and many other pertinent topics. See a summary in the proposed Table of Contents, or the TOC Quick Summary. These subjects are mostly aimed at increasing the self-confidence and self-expectation of the students.
The current class is written specifically for Latinos, but would work for other minority or other immigrant students. (A version is envisioned for American students as well.) A curriculum is being developed for 8th through 12th grades. After other minorities are included then a class would be developed for Caucasians.
Self-Discovery is not trying to replace Latinos In Action, but to supplement that program where it is already in-place, and reach a wider audience elsewhere. The benefit of the Self-Discovery Class is that it will be sufficiently inexpensive for schools to offer it to all Latino and other minority students.
Like Latinos In Action, Self-Discovery also focuses on tutoring, but instead of busing students to an elementary school, the impact will be in the student’s home. Students are assigned to tutor/mentor a younger sibling or close relative by:
Feedback from Latino students indicate that it will be difficult to do the tutoring at home. We see this as a manageable challenge, and are seeking solutions to overcome this obstacle and make it rewarding for high school students to tutor their siblings.
Some ideas for motivation and accurate reporting of time spent include:
To develop class spirit and unity, polo shirts with team logos would be provided and worn to school at least once a week.
We would like to test the program in the Cache Valley (Utah) high schools and middle schools.
See the latest outline of what we think should be in the class at: www.youthdiscovery.org/ toc-for-dd-class
Boy Scouts of America Scoutmaster Woodbadge Leadership Principles
Lessons 1-11 on the 11 principles of Leadership (Pre 2000 Woodbadge course)
Lessons 1-8 on the 8 principles of Leadership in the current Woodbadge course
Specific Latino Leadership styles outlined by Juana Bordas in “The Power of Latino Leadership”, 14 lessons
Steven Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
Basic Categories Qty per grade Have Needed: 8th 9th 10th 11th 12th
0) Pre Class Set Up 0 3 3 3 3 3
1) Set Up Class 0 5 5 2 2 2
2) Team Building 16 10 10 7 7 5
3) Tutoring and Mentoring 0 20 16 14 12 12
4) Honesty, Integrity, & Reliability 1 3 3 3 3 3
5) Environmental Service 3 3 3 3 3 3
6) What can be done about Latinos in school 0 5 5 5 8 5
7) Teamwork 2 9 8 8 5 5
8) Communications 1 10 5 6 5 5
9) Si, Se Puede 0 10 5 10 3 3
10) Cultural Confidence 14 20 20 15 15 12
11) My Family Experience 0 20 15 15 15 10
12) Being Bilingual 0 10 10 10 5 10
13) Why Stay in School 1 15 15 5 5 15
14) Life Skills 17 10 10 15 15 10
15) Avoiding Gangs 0 10 10 5 5 5
16) Academic Roadmap 15 5 10 15 15 15
17) Scholarship/Financing College 2 2 2 5 15 13
18) GPA 2 3 5 10 10 10
19) Study Habits 2 10 10 15 15 15
20) ACT Preparation 0 0 0 3 10 10
21) Latino Leadership 4 0 8 0 0 0
22) 7 habits of highly effective people 0 0 0 5 0 0
23) Ldr, New BSA Woodbadge Course 0 0 0 0 5 0
24) Ldr, Old BSA Woodbadge Course 0 0 0 0 0 15
25) Environmental Literacy and Involvement 0 5 5 5 5 5
TOTAL Lesson Plans: 80, Many are multiple days 80 180 180 180 180 180
Appendix A, Forms
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Youth Discovery Inc.
60 West 1000 North
Logan, UT 84321
Copyright © 2014 Youth Discovery Inc, All rights reserved