CENTER COMPONENTS

1. individual tutoring

2. group skills training

3. computer skills training

4. sharing

5. group field trips

6. individual field trips

7. parent training

8. teacher training

1. Individualized Academic Tutoring

    In this component children are provided with one-on-one academic tutoring in areas of weakness. These areas are identified by their teachers and the children themselves every month. The tutoring is provided by undergraduate students, community volunteers, and parents, all of whom are trained to use a tool called the "step-by-step" teaching method. Teachers from the public school system who participate in the program supervise the academic tutoring to make sure that the participating children are provided with materials that best address their weaknesses.

    2. Group Skills Training

    In this component children are taught the following adaptive skills using the "step-by-step" method:

      - Communication skills such as how to effectively express positive and negative feelings, public speaking skills, how to write and speak using complete sentences and how to form paragraphs and organize them in a document. The goal of these skills is to enhance each student's ability to understand, speak, read and write standard English.

      - Socialization skills such as how to resist peer pressure, chair a meeting, introduce oneself to a teacher, interview for a job, and effectively handle conflict. The goal of these skills is to improve each student's ability to interact with others in a responsilble, sensitive manner and to enjoy constructive leisure time.

      - Daily living skills such as how to use the telephone, proper dining etiquette, time management and how to write a check. The goal of these skills is to increase each student's ability to effectively handle daily living tasks using time management skills.


    In addition to teaching adaptive skills, students in the program are taught behavior self-management strategies to avoid maladaptive behaviors such as hitting, fighting and cursing. These stategies include choosing friends who are academically and socially successful and using an anger management strategy.

    3. Computer Skills Training

    In this component students are taught basic computer programming and word processing skills using the "step-by-step" method. Students are taught with educational software.

    4. Sharing

    In the sharing component tutors and all other staff give students praise about their work and/or attitude in front of the entire center group. Students are also given the oppurtunity to give their feedback about the help they recieved or the successs behaviors that they observed in any staff members. Additionally, students are given the chance to share any accomplishment or success behavior they feel proud of with the rest of the group. Staff members constantly look for any child demonstrating success behaviors and then enthusiastically praise the child immediately following the act. Staff members also encourage the child to praise themselves for their success and progress.

    5. Group Field Trips

    A major goal of this component is to make the children feel advantaged rather than disadvantaged. In turn, this helps contribute to positive self-esteem. Field trips ususally center around celebrating African-American culture. Past field trips include visitig the Martin Luther King Jr. Center in Atlanta and touring an African Arts exhibit at the Harn Museum.

    6. Individual Field Trips

    In this component a mentor or tutor helps each child establish both short-term and long-term goals and assists the child in formulating a plan for reaching these goals. The mentor or tutor also plans an individual field trip for the child that is consistent with at least one of the child's goals. For example, a student whose long-term goal is to become a nurse might participate in a field trip to a hospital where he or she would spend a few hours job shadowing a nurse on duty. The goal is to facilitate the child's academic achievement.

    7. Parent Training

    In the parent training component the major focus is on training parents to facilitate the self-empowerment of their children for academic and social success. Parents are trained in the model program's methods and strategies so they can be used at home. Emphasis is on parents recognizing and praising their child for showing self-management behaviors, success behaviors and adaptive skills. Training occurs through monthly parenting workshops and practicum experiences in which parents visit the center to observe the positive interventions in action.

    8. Teacher Training

    In this component the public school teachers of the children in the program and other interested teachers are trained in the program's methods and strategies. Other interested teachers are invited to participate so that the impact can be experienced by students outside of the program. The training occurs at large workshops followed by an individual practicum at Mt. Olive. In the individual practicum each teacher is paired with a staff member who makes sure that the teacher sees all the program's methods and strategies in action. Teachers recieve continuing education credits (in-service units) for their participation in the training.

    Teachers who participate in the teacher training component are encouraged to be assertive and supportive of African-American children. Being supportive requires asking them what they do not understand, patiently giving them academic help and helping with a positive attitude. Being assertive requires stating and reviewing classroom rules and the consequences for breaking these rules. The key is following through with these consequences when the rules are broken.