ERIC Number: ED439205
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1999-Apr
"I'd Like To Go to Harvard but I Don't Know Where It Is": Bridging the Gap between Reality and Dreams for Adolescent African American Girls.
Kusimo, Patricia S.; Carter, Carolyn S.; Keyes, Marian C.
A study looked at how a science and mathematics intervention program for middle school girls, the "Voices" program, affected African American students and their families. Effects of the program on academic achievement and participation and persistence in school were also studied. The Voices program was implemented in one urban and one rural county in West Virginia. Of the program's original 73 participants, 33 were African American. In the first program year, the girls met once a month during the school year for workshops. In years 2 and 3, the girls attended workshops and worked with mentors who had careers in science, mathematics, and technology. In the final year, the students met regularly with school sponsors and were involved in designing and completing community service learning projects. Program sponsors experienced a great deal of difficulty in finding staff willing to work with the urban girls, many of whom were African American. The staff members who were willing to work with these girls did not necessarily have a real sense of advocacy for them. In the rural site, the engagement with the girls' schools and communities was instantaneous and lasted throughout the project. Access was facilitated by the involvement of two African American women who served as bridges to the project, something that was not found in the urban community. Study results show that programs like "Voices" can make a very positive difference for African American girls and their families in rural areas, but experiences in the urban site challenge program developers to think creatively about designing interventions that can provide sustained engagement for African American girls and their families. (Contains 29 references.) (SLD)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Science Foundation, Arlington, VA.
Authoring Institution: Appalachia Educational Lab., Charleston, WV.
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (Montreal, Quebec, Canada, April 19-23, 1999). This material is based on work conducted by the "Rural and Urban Images: Voices of Girls in Science, Mathematics, and Technology" program.