Contacts: Percy Wells, Coca-Cola Enterprises, 313-304-7330
John Graves, PR Networks, 313-674-0304
Christie Goodman, APR, IDRA, 210-444-1710

Coca-Cola Valued Youth Program Addresses Dropout Prevention in Detroit Public Schools at Community Event

What: 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. The 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. Since its inception in 1984, the program has kept more than 20,000 students in school, young people who were previously considered at risk of dropping out. The lives of more than 375,000 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. Currently, students in five states, as well as Brazil, participate in the program. In Detroit, the
Coca-Cola Valued Youth Program has paired Western International High School with Maybury Elementary School.

When/Where: Wednesday, December 7, 2005

Community Breakfast: 8:30 a.m. to 9:00 a.m.
Introduction of Program: 9:00 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.
Western International High School (library)
1500 Scotten Street

Classroom Tour and Tutoring Demonstrations: 9:45 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.
Maybury Elementary School (Great visual opportunity)
4410 Porter Street (across the street from Western)

Who: In 1984, with a grant from The
Coca-Cola Company, Intercultural Development Research Association created the Coca-Cola Valued Youth Program. Through this rigorous and comprehensive program, dropout rates are successfully reduced.

Why: Detroit Public Schools has almost a 50 percent dropout rate. The
Coca-Cola Valued Youth Program has maintained a 98 percent or better retention rate since its inception. The program is based on its philosophy: “All students are valuable; none is expendable.”

IDRA is an independent, private non-profit organization, directed by María Robledo Montecel, Ph.D., dedicated to creating schools that work for all children. As a vanguard leadership development and research team for more than three decades, IDRA has worked with people to create self-renewing schools that value and empower all children, families and communities. IDRA conducts research and development activities, creates, implements and administers innovative education programs and provides teacher, administrator, and parent training and technical assistance.