Dr. Sulema Carreon-Sanchez

Tutor’s Success Surprises Elementary Teacher – Podcast Episode 145 | Classnotes Podcast 145

Classnotes Podcast (September 29, 2014) Karen Leahy knew that having a Coca-Cola Valued Youth Program tutor work with students in her elementary classroom would help the tutors strengthen self-esteem. And she welcomed that opportunity. But she was surprised to see how they genuinely helped her first grade tutees get up to grade level in reading. Ms. Leahy is first grade teacher at the NOW Academy in the Los Angeles Unified School District and describes how she selected the students the Coca-Cola Valued Youth Program tutors would be assigned to and how the tutors were embraced by not just her two charges, but by the whole class.

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. Ms. Leahy is interviewed by Dr. Sulema Carreón-Sánchez, a senior education associate.

Show length: 17:17

Send comments to podcast@idra.org

Sign up for Classnotes e-mail alerts.


Coca-Cola Valued Youth Program

Video: Coca-Cola Valued Youth Program Tutors at the NOW Academy in the Los Angeles Unified School District

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

Your feedback

We welcome your comments and questions to the podcast. Send an e-mail to podcast@idra.org.

Listen to every episode!

To ensure you don’t miss a single episode of IDRA Classnotes, subscribe to the podcast in iTunes, (download iTunes free if you don’t have it) or sign up to receive an e-mail alert as soon as a new show is published.


Show Notes

  • Ms. Leahy describes how she felt when she first heard that she would be participating in the Coca-Cola Valued Youth Program, and that the tutor for her class was only in the eighth grade.

  • Ms. Leahy explains how she selected the two students whom Irma, the tutor, would work with.

  • Ms. Leahy recounts how quickly the tutees became attached to Irma, and how one of the tutees, in particular, made such good progress and grew in her enthusiasm in her reading.

  • Ms. Leahy talks about the daily work schedule between the tutors and tutees at the NOW Academy.

  • Ms. Leahy shares how through tutoring, Irma also grew in confidence and self-esteem during the year, and was able to read a book out loud to the class during Dr. Seuss Week.

  • Ms. Leahy considers what surprised her most about the Coca-Cola Valued Youth Program.