Coca-Cola Valued Youth Program

Successful Dropout Prevention

Coca-Cola Valued Youth Program

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The IDRA Coca-Cola Valued Youth Program is a research-based, internationally-recognized dropout prevention program that has kept 98 percent of its tutors in school.

The Coca-Cola Valued Youth Program, created by the Intercultural Development Research Association, is an internationally-recognized, cross-age tutoring program with an unusual twist. This dropout prevention program works by identifying junior high and high school students in at-risk situations and enlisting them as tutors for elementary school youngsters who are also struggling in school. Given this role of personal and academic responsibility, the Valued Youth tutors learn self-discipline and develop self-esteem; schools shift to the philosophy and practices of valuing students considered at-risk.

Results show that tutors stay in school, have increased academic performance, improved school attendance and advanced to higher education.

“The Coca-Cola Valued Youth Program exemplifies IDRA’s asset-based approach. The program is based on the creed that all students are valuable, none is expendable,” stated Dr. María “Cuca” Robledo Montecel. “It has maintained a less than 2 percent dropout rate, which is an incredible legacy.”

Since its inception in 1984, the program has kept 34,100 students in school, young people who were previously considered at risk of dropping out. The lives of more than 671,000 children, families and educators have been positively impacted by the program. The program design is based on IDRA research on the dropout issue and school holding power. The program has grown across the United States and has been in Brazil, England and Puerto Rico.

See the program brochure

News Stories

Six Young Tutors Win 2017 National Essay Contest Awards
Six students received prizes in a national competition among participants in the IDRA Coca-Cola Valued Youth Program, a nationally-recognized cross-age tutoring program of the Intercultural Development Research Association. Coca-Cola Valued Youth Program tutors wrote about how the program helped them do better in school and how they had helped their tutees to do better. Jimena Guerrero wrote: “Last year, I had a rough year: constantly on campus suspension, referrals, verbally disrespecting teachers… Ever since I started this Coca-Cola Valued Youth Program, I feel like I am a different person.”

White House names IDRA Coca-Cola Valued Youth Program a Hispanic Ed “Bright Spot”
The White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics named the IDRA Coca-Cola Valued Youth Program a Hispanic Ed “Bright Spot” as part of a new national online catalog of programs that invest in key education priorities for Hispanics. The announcement was made today by Alejandra Ceja, executive director of the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics at the launch of Hispanic Heritage Month and in honor of the initiative’s 25th anniversary in Washington, D.C. The White House initiative named these 230 Bright Spots to encourage collaboration in sharing data-driven approaches, promising practices, peer advice, and effective partnerships, ultimately resulting in increased support for the educational attainment of the Hispanic community, from cradle-to-career.

KLRN Featured the IDRA Coca-Cola Valued Youth Program for American Graduate Day
KLRN’s American Graduate Day celebrated Dr. Cuca Robledo Montecel and IDRA’s Coca-Cola Valued Youth Program. KLRN produced new video spot about the IDRA Coca-Cola Valued Youth Program is airing now and is online [01:30 min]. We’re so grateful to Superintendent Dr. Abelardo Saavedra and Coca-Cola Valued Youth Program tutor, Silvia Favela, both at South San Antonio ISD for taking the time to be interviewed for the video. KLRN and a few other PBS stations developed these spots that were aired during the weeks leading up to October 3, 2015, for American Graduate Day.

TV News Story: IDRA’s Dropout Prevention Tutoring Demonstration
This week, we have been showing how IDRA’s Coca-Cola Valued Youth Program works with a tutoring demonstration in South San Antonio ISD. We have guests from across the country visiting here to find out how to bring the program to their schools. This research-based, internationally-recognized dropout prevention program keeps 98 percent of its tutors in school – students who were once considered at-risk. See the WOAI News 4 San Antonio TV story about the program.

Newspaper Story: South San ISD student mentoring program draws national attention
Here’s a really nice story by Francisco Vara-Orta at the San Antonio Express-News who came by to observe IDRA’s Coca-Cola Valued Youth Program in action. There are some wonderful photos here too. We’re so proud of our South San HS tutors and Kindred Elementary tutees!

Radio Show: Lessons from the IDRA Coca-Cola Valued Youth Program
The National Dropout Prevention Center/Network Radio Webcast featured IDRA’s Dr. Linda Cantu. Listen and learn about this assets-based approach to dropout prevention and discover key lessons learned in this award-winning cross-age tutoring program. The webcast site also includes links to the accompanying PowerPoint and other resources.

  • Resources
  • Program Overview
    Get info
  • Program Brochure
    See PDF
  • Tutor Essay Contest – See what students are saying about the program
    Winning Essays
  • Video clips show how the program impacts students and schools.
    See Video Page
  • Continutities - Lessons for the Future of Education from the IDRA Coca-Cola Valued Youth Program
    See PDF

How to Get Started

Getting Started at Your School How do schools move from having a dropout rate that raises concern to having a successful dropout prevention and youth leadership program? The Coca-Cola Valued Youth Program offers one possibility. The program can be readily...

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Program Overview

Overview The Coca-Cola Valued Youth Program is a research-based, internationally-recognized dropout prevention program that has kept 98 percent of its tutors in school. In the program, secondary students who are considered at-risk of dropping out of school are placed as...

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Research-Based Design

The Coca-Cola Valued Youth Program was identified as an effective program in Show Me the Evidence! Proven and Promising Programs for America’s Schools, by Dr. Robert E. Slavin and Dr. Olatokunbo S. Fashola. The authors report that the Coca-Cola Valued...

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Program Elements

The philosophy of the Coca-Cola Valued Youth Program gives strength to its instructional strategies and support strategies. Instructional Strategies Classes for Tutors: Tutors meet with their secondary school teacher coordinator once a week in order to: develop tutoring skills that...

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Evaluation Design

Our evaluation holds IDRA and our partner schools accountable to student success – a less than 2 percent dropout rate and improved academic achievement. The evaluation design for the Coca-Cola Valued Youth Program is one of the most rigorous and...

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Recognition and Awards

White House named IDRA Coca-Cola Valued Youth Program a Hispanic Ed “Bright Spot” Approved by the U.S. Department of Education’s Program Effectiveness Panel for inclusion in the National Diffusion Network, April 1991 Peter F. Drucker Foundation Award for Non-profit Management...

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IDRA Coca-Cola Valued Youth Program Student Essay Contest

IDRA Coca-Cola Valued Youth Program Tutors Share Stories of the Program’s Impact on Their Lives Six Young Tutors Win 2017 National Essay Contest Awards The winners are… First Place High School Winner – Ana Luisa Valenzuela, 12th Grade, Odessa High...

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Continuities – Lessons for the Future of Education from the IDRA Coca-Cola Valued Youth Program

[caption id="" align="alignright" width="165"] By María Robledo Montecel, Ph.D. (No ISBN; 28 Pages; paperback; 2009; $5.00 and free online)[/caption] In 2009, IDRA celebrated the 25th anniversary of the Coca-Cola Valued Youth Program, an empirically-tested dropout prevention program implemented in 550...

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The Program in Brazil

13 Years of the Coca-Cola Valued Youth Program in Brazil IDRA’s Coca-Cola Valued Youth Program is a research-based dropout prevention program that since 1984 has been implemented in schools across the United States as well as Puerto Rico and the...

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Coca-Cola Valued Youth Program Videos

Video Clips about the Coca-Cola Valued Youth Program Quick overview of how the Coca-Cola Valued Youth Program impacts students and schools. (01:30) Parents and students talk about how the Coca-Cola Valued Youth Program has made a difference in their lives....

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