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ERIC Number: EJ988368
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008
Pages: 5
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-1478-8497
Valuing Brazilian Youth: IDRA's Coca Cola Valued Youth Program in Latin America
Montecel, Maria Robledo
International Journal on School Disaffection, v5 n2 p13-17 2008
Intercultural Development Research Association (IDRA) is an independent, non-profit organization with a vision for schools that work for all children. It partnered with Coca-Cola in 1984 and began a dropout prevention program just as it was conducting the first comprehensive study of school dropouts in Texas. Its annual studies since then have shown that over the last 23 years, more than 2.6 million students have left school before graduating high school. IDRA believes that the reason so many schools have failed to reduce dropout rates is that people have been blaming the students--claiming that their soul, their mind, their heart, or their community environment is unhealthy--rather than addressing the changes that professionals need to bring about to keep children in school. The idea behind the program is simple and may seem a bit unusual at first. IDRA works with schools to identify students who are considered at risk of dropping out of school and helps them become tutors of younger students. A key belief of the program is that all children are valuable; none are expendable. Could this program work in Brazil? That was the question facing the leaders of IDRA, Coca-Cola Brazil, PANAMCO/Spal, the secretary of education of Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo, and other organizations in 1998. Brazil is by far the largest country in Latin America and only slightly smaller than the United States. It has a population of over 188 million with about a third (25.8%) under the age of 14. With a literacy rate of 86.4 per cent and about 31.0 per cent of the population living in poverty, education is an important priority for the country's social and economic development. IDRA's Coca-Cola Valued Youth Program had to develop a "planned variation" to address the particular issues that Brazil presented, so it went to the program's essence: those elements that would transcend cultural and geographic borders. In the program's eight years of operation in Brazil, nearly 20,000 tutors and tutees have participated in the program. It has been successful in keeping students in school, with an average of 2.5 per cent dropout rate during its eight years of operation.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Brazil