March 17, 2006

Options for At-risk Youth

The American Youth Policy Forum has made an extraordinary contribution to understanding why some programs click and other don't. They have conducted careful, well-funded studies of 133 alternative programs for at-risk youth. These are summarized in Some Things Do Make a Difference for Youth and More Things That Make a Difference for Youth.

The reports contain descriptions of many programs. The critical elements for success make sense and in some ways are surprising. Unfortunately, many programs do not pay sufficient heed to the factors, which are:

Amer. Youth Policy Forum.jpg-Quality of Implementation
-Caring, Knowledgeable Adults
-High Standards and Expectations
-Parent/Guardian Participation
-Community Involvement
-Holistic Approaches
-Work-Based Learning
-Longterm Services, Supports & Follow-Up
-Youth as Resources/ Community Service and Service Learning

Amer. Youth Policy Forum-1.jpg
Another report from the same source, Whatever it Takes: How 12 Communities are Reconnecting Out-of-School Youth describes specific successful local programs and a number of national programs.These reports, available online, describe each of these factors with examples, recommendations, glossary and excellent references and resources. Well-written and useful pieces of work with powerful implications for all of education when we are losing a dropout every 9 seconds!

Posted by Wayne Jennings at 03:38 PM | Comments (0)