Dr. Sulema Carreon-Sanchez

An Elementary Teacher on Having Tutors in Her Classroom – Podcast Episode 142 | Classnotes Podcast 142

Classnotes Podcast (June 30, 2014) Skepticism is often the first reaction elementary teachers to the idea of having students from the nearby middle school or high school come into their classrooms as tutors. But once they give it a try, they become some of the loudest advocates for Coca-Cola Valued Youth Program tutors. Dr. Laurie Walters, a first grade teacher at the NOW Academy in the Los Angeles Unified School District, talks about the two tutors who spent a semester in her classroom this year for one class period almost daily and the impact they had on the tutees they worked with. She describes how she observed the tutors gain self-confidence, build a relationship with their tutees and help them improve dramatically in both behavior and achievement.

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. It works by identifying junior high and high school students who are in at-risk situations and enlisting them as tutors for elementary school youngsters who are also struggling in school. 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.

Dr. Walters is interviewed by Dr. Sulema Carreón-Sánchez a senior education associate.

Show length: 12:43

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Coca-Cola Valued Youth Program

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

Video: Elementary teacher describes why she likes having a Coca-Cola Valued Youth Program tutor in her classroom. [00:32]

Coca-Cola Valued Youth Program Student Essays

Coca-Cola Valued Youth Program – Strengthening Student Connections with School
by Linda Cantú, Ph.D., IDRA Newsletter

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Show Notes

  • Dr. Walters recounts the first time she heard about the Coca-Cola Valued Youth Program, and how she first introduced her two eighth-grade tutors into the classroom.

  • Dr. Walters talks about the self-confidence that her tutors gained through the program and the relationships they built with their tutees over time.

  • Dr. Walters gives an example of a word-sorting assignment that helped both the tutors and tutees to expand their vocabulary.

  • Dr. Walters notes her two biggest surprises from participating in program: the understanding gained by the tutors that they truly are valued and the success of one of the tutees, whose behavior and achievement improved dramatically during the year.

  • Dr. Walters shares the story of receiving a touching, well-written thank-you note from her tutors at the end of the year.

  • Dr. Walters offers advice to other teachers who will be receiving Coca-Cola Valued Youth Program tutors in their classrooms.