"An achievable dream": a program for at risk elementary school students in Newport News, Virginia
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The purpose of this study was to determine the effectiveness of "An Achievable Dream" (AAD), a program developed for at risk elementary students in Newport News, Virginia, in improving academic achievenlent, self concept, and school attendance. One hundred rising fourth grade students were identified in 1992 to participate in the pilot year of this program. Eighty-four students completed the entire year and were included in this study.
A review of effective programs currently operating throughout the country examined other programs with similar goals. A case study detailed the history of the program, the adaptations made since the program's inception, and a summary of baseline data on the students. A program evaluation validated the structure of AAD, assessed the impact of AAD as it related to achieving the stated goals, and served as the foundation for a decision model for program continuation. Data was obtained through individual interviews, a review of written program materials, attendance records, and from individual student scores on the Iowa Test of Basic Skills (ITBS) reading comprehension subtest, the Degrees of Reading Power (DRP), and the Piers-Harris Children's Self Concept Scale (PHCSCS).
All AAD program components were validated except student selection procedures. Many students were selected for inclusion into the program who did not fit the criteria for selection. Results of the evaluation showed little change in school attendance patterns and a decline in reading achievement percentile scores on both the ITBS and the DRP. Scores on the PHCSCS indicated that the majority of the students had an average to above average self concept. The decision model for program continuation included recommendations for consideration in program continuation.
- Doctoral Dissertations