Valued Youth Partnership

Continuities – Lessons for the Future of Education

By María Robledo Montecel, Ph.D. (No ISBN; 28 Pages; paperback; 2009; $5.00 and free online)

In 2009, IDRA celebrated the 25th anniversary of the Valued Youth Partnership program, (formerly called the Coca-Cola Valued Youth Program) an empirically-tested dropout prevention program implemented in 550 schools in the continental United States,Puerto Rico, Brazil and the United Kingdom. The program works by engaging youth at risk of dropping out as tutors of younger students.

Valuing youth of all backgrounds transforms perceptions and outcomes: since 1984, the program has kept over 34,100 students in school and positively impacted more than half a million children, families and educators.

Anchored in this transnational experience, Continuities – Lessons for the Future of Education, vividly captures seven key lessons for improving the quality of education for all students. In Continuities, readers hear the voices of youth, teachers, family members and program leaders and learn why valuing youth is at the heart of school transformation.

“Só em meio aos obstáculos e desafios posso provar o quanto eu sou capaz de vencer. Antes do programa eu não ligava para nada disso – Nem para o estudo eu ligava. [Agora], sei o que sou e até onde posso ir… Agora sei a importância da familia e do estudo na minha vida.”

“It is only through obstacles and challenges that I can prove how much I am capable of overcoming. Before the program, I didn’t care about any of this. I didn’t even care about school. I know [now] what I am and what I am capable of doing… now I know how important family and school are in my life.”

– Alanna Alves Moraes, eighth grade, Shopping Park Municipal Public School, Grand Prize Winner, IDRA’s Coca-Cola Valued Youth Program 25th Anniversary Tutor Essay Contest, 2009

Available free online