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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 201745 Find in a Library
Title: Connecting Students "At-Risk" to Schools: Social Program Interventions
Journal: Journal of Gang Research  Volume:10  Issue:4  Dated:Summer 2003  Pages:39-46
Author(s): Shirley R. Holmes Ph.D.; Susan J. Brandenburg-Ayres Ed.D.; Daria T. Cronic Ph.D.
Date Published: 2003
Page Count: 8
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article discusses programs designed for social and behavioral intervention with students identified as at-risk with emphasis on the effectiveness of service learning.
Abstract: At-risk students have been described as being academically deficit, disruptive, language deficient, and/or reading disabled. Conditions at home and community, as well as differences in familial and cultural backgrounds may affect the student’s ability to profit from “mainstream” school experiences. There have been many curriculums and programs designed to prevent or intervene with risk through providing early academic intervention. Peer mediation has not been effective in meeting the needs of at-risk students. Mentoring programs appear to be effective when an infrastructure of training and support is available for both mentors and student participants. Service learning is both a philosophy and methodology that addresses student motivation through participation in meaningful authentic student driven community-based activities. Essential elements of successful service learning programs include clear education goals, student involvement, assessment that addresses both student learning and project efficiency, and community development that promotes student voice, diversity, and interaction. Service learning programs have been successful in producing specific positive social outcomes with students, including enhanced self esteem/empowerment and school attendance, reductions in violent behaviors, substance abuse, and development of sensitivity to diversity. Development of models for implementation of service learning programs for at-risk students would help establish strong adult-student connections, model and practice social behaviors in an authentic context, and address high academic expectations in a meaningful way. Further research of the academic and social efficacy of service learning intervention and prevent methodologies for at-risk students are encouraged. 45 references
Main Term(s): Children at risk; Educational reform
Index Term(s): Adolescents at risk; Curriculum; Equal opportunity education; Juvenile educational services; Positive peer culture; Youth community involvement
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